Transgender activist sentenced to life in Oakland family murder

Transgender activist sentenced to life in Oakland family murder

OAKLAND — A prominent transgender activist has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering three members of his family in a brutal and maniacal assault, but a judge said the case was the worst he’d seen in 30 years. said it was.

Dana Rivers, 68, of San Jose, died last year with Charlotte Reed, 56, of Oakland, with his wife Patricia Wright, 57, and Wright’s son Benny Toto Diamb Wright. was convicted of killing a 19-year-old in a raid in the city. victim’s home. Prosecutors said she used a silenced handgun to shoot victims, stabbed Reed 47 times while her husband and wife were sleeping in their bedroom, and then set fire to her garage to cover up her tracks. It is said that

“Sentencing someone to death in prison is a horrible thing, and I don’t take it lightly,” Judge Scott Patton said at a court hearing Wednesday. “But this is the most heinous crime I have dealt with in the criminal justice system for 33 years. Frankly, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in prison.”

Rivers, who first pleaded self-defense during the guilty stage of the trial and later claimed he was legally insane at the time, said nothing during sentencing. Wright’s brother filed a letter in court in which he recounted the stress of experiencing a crime scene and how Rivers turned his sister’s warm and welcoming home into a pool of blood. rice field.

Richard Wright said his sister was the “rubber band” that held his family together. She’s an artist, a “peacemaker,” and she “really wanted to be a parent.”

“When Dana Rivers killed her sister, she broke the rubber band,” he wrote. “What held her family together was gone.”

Rivers has been in prison since November 11, 2016, when the murder took place. She was arrested as she left the victim’s home, covered in blood, on her motorcycle parked near her. Her prosecutors said her motives were a mixture of her personal animosity and anger at Reid for quitting the all-female motorcycle gang.

Reed and Rivers met at the Menlo Park Veterans Center in Palo Alto and developed a friendship, including Rivers recruiting Reed to join a motorcycle club known as the Deviants MC. The two became estranged after Reed left the club, but Rivers methodically persuaded her to resume her friendship to give her a chance to commit murder, the deputy district attorney said. Abigail Malvigil argued at trial.

Before her arrest, Rivers was best known as a schoolteacher, but she made international headlines when she came out as transgender to students at a high school in Antelope, California. She was then fired for leaking details of her own transition, sued her school district, and received $150,000 in her settlement. She then became a transgender rights activist and eventually moved to the Bay Area to restart her life as an educator.

Patton has dismissed a motion for retrial filed by Rivers’ attorneys, who alleges that prosecutors committed misconduct and prevented the judge from hearing related innocence evidence. Mr Patton said the issues raised ranged from “trivial” to “frankly very ridiculous” and that the evidence in Mr Rivers’ guilt was “overwhelming”.

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