Two of three murder charges against a man were dismissed Wednesday in a controversial Alameda County Superior Court case, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Delonzo Logwood, 33, was suspected of killing Richard Carter and Zaire Washington in 2008, but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Mark McCannon dismissed those charges last Wednesday. A charge for killing Eric Ford in 2008 remains.
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price has been under public scrutiny for pursuing a plea deal earlier this year in the case. Many claimed the deal was evidence that Price is being too lenient on offenders. Some community members said Price needed to be recalled.
More than 19,000 people have signed a petition for the recall of Price. The petition can be found via change.org.
McCannon in March rejected the deal, in which Logwood would have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and the personal use of a gun for Ford's death.
"We concluded that the previous administration had overcharged and mismanaged the case, and that's why we worked so hard in January and February to arrive at a negotiated settlement," Price said in a statement following McCannon's ruling Wednesday.
"The Court's rejection of that proposed plea agreement in March created an unexpected barrier to our efforts to resolve the case," Price said. "Today, the judge has accepted our evaluation of the evidence in the case and dismissed the two murder charges to match the evidence in the case."
Evidence against Logwood for the slayings of Carter and Washington came from a cooperating witness who was serving a 31-year sentence. In exchange for testifying against Logwood in 2018, 12 years were cut from the witness' sentence, according to the DA's Office.
The witness completed his sentence in February and was released. He now refuses to testify in the case against Logwood and is not required to under an earlier deal reached with prosecutors.
"We learned back in January that this witness was not guaranteed to testify," Price said. "Additionally, his testimony was very problematic in terms of contradicting objective facts and our ability to secure a conviction in any of the cases was extremely tenuous."
Logwood has been in jail since 2009 and in custody in Alameda County since 2015. He was 18 years old at the time of the three slayings.
Price said Logwood is very sorry for his behavior, but McCannon was not convinced of that in February.
Price was elected as the top county prosecutor in November on a progressive platform.