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Murder charges filed in drive-by death of three-year-old

on August 11, 2011

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has filed murder charges against 26-year-old Lawrence Denard for the murder of three-year-old Carlos Nava, the Oakland Police Department announced this afternoon. Nava was shot on August 8 during a drive-by shooting on International Boulevard; investigators believe that the boy was hit by a stray bullet intended for two men who were standing on the sidewalk nearby.

The two men were also wounded but survived. Denard is also being charged with two counts of attempted murder, as well as with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to police.

At a vigil held Tuesday night, Oakland city officials pledged that they’d take a tougher stance on urban violence, called for an increased police presence within the city and urged voters to pass an $80 parcel tax this November that would fund police staffing. City Council President Larry Reid noted that the number of OPD officers has dropped from 830 nearly two years ago to 666 today.

OPD Chief Anthony Batts also noted that violence had decreased in the city after he’d deployed additional officers to help with the Nava murder investigation, saying “This is clear evidence that if you have the officers out here you can stop the violence. This city can be as safe as any other city.”

In this afternoon’s announcement, Batts stated: “Oakland Police Officers and Investigators have worked tirelessly to bring the suspect into custody and to begin to bring some sense of justice to the family.  We should not lose sight of the fact that a three year-old child has lost his life.”

In the same announcement, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley promised that her office would prosecute the case “to the fullest extent of the law and with all available resources.”


  1. Leonard Raphael on August 11, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Depressing to hear elected city officials exploiting the death of this child to push for their latest parcel tax when their tax proposal DOES NOT GUARANTEE anything about police staffing.

    All we have are the same words that the same officials used to promote their Measure Y and Measure M which at least seemed to assure minimum staffing but the City ignored after voter approval. The City won a lawsuit that said all that Measure Y promised was to “appropriate money” for opd staffing, not to actually spend the money.

    Now the same gang is telling us to vote for a parcel tax that doesn’t contain even any language about appropriating money for opd staffing. that’s called Trust Us because we have a great track record of taking care of Oakland.

    As for their argument that a parcel tax that at most will net 12Mill/year could somehow maintain the staffing levels of a police force that is dropping by about 10 retirements a month, in a city that faces easily a 100Mill deficit in the next year or two is insulting to the intelligence of voters.

    -len raphael, cpa

  2. […] Friday, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office also filed murder charges against 26-year-old Lawrence Denard in connection with Nava’s death, as well as two counts of attempted murder related to the […]

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