The plea agreement in the Hayward murder case allows the defendant’s actions to determine the sentence

OAKLAND – Nearly a decade after he was accused of killing a 26-year-old man outside a Hayward apartment, a Bay Area resident was released from prison in a plea agreement with Alameda County prosecutors. , court records show.

But the deal to propose to 41-year-old Diontay Shackelford didn’t quite end there. Shackelford did not plead guilty to manslaughter on November 1 and was released from prison that day, but for the next two months, the prospect of a decade in prison hung over him.

That’s because, in a rare move, prosecutors gave Shackelford a chance to reduce his sentence by nearly two-thirds. On November 1, he was formally sentenced to 17 years in prison, with the understanding that if he didn’t get in trouble or missed his court date, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office would drop an enhanced measure, for allowed Shackelford to be re-convicted. up to six years, the time he served while in prison pending the resolution of his case.

At the sentencing hearing on January 10, the agreement was officially announced. Court records show Shackelford showed up as agreed, and another 11 years were dropped.

The settlement closes a long thorny criminal case that has seen Shackelford appear in court twice, only for the jury not to reach a verdict both times. During his eight years at Santa Rita Prison in Dublin, Shackelford took professional legal action claiming prison staff could not treat his gum disease. In April 2020, he developed COVID-19 symptoms, which led to his attorney, Todd Bequette, filing in court demanding that Shackelford receive immediate medical attention.

“Mr. Shackelford and I are both excited to conclude our long story about his prosecution,” Bequette said in an email to the Bay Area News Group.

In November 2020, Shackelford wrote a letter published on the website of a pro-execution organization called Santa Rita Jail Solidarity, in which he said the food at the prison was often inedible, affecting his health.

Shackelford is accused of murdering Foster, who was visiting the Bay Area from Arkansas when he was gunned down around 10:45 a.m. on December 20, 2012, outside the Lord Tennyson Apartments near Hayward Medical Center. Prosecutors said he died from a gunshot wound to the leg.

A prosecution witness identified Shackelford as the man who pulled a Cobray pistol from underneath a large overcoat and shot Foster, adding that Shackelford had said “what’s up” to Foster earlier in the day and there seems to be tension. Shackelford denied involvement in the police interview at his 2015 trial, defense gave evidence that someone else carried out the actual shooting, court records show. see. The plea agreement in the Hayward murder case allows the defendant’s actions to determine the sentence

Huynh Nguyen

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