Justice in America: Gerardo Hernandez Part I


By Warren Yates


Well ladies and gentlemen, deputy Dist. Atty. Marlissa Ferriera’s favorite commenter is back from San Jose. I am going to explain the title of this commentary and show how what happened in San Jose parallels the dog and pony show here in Stanislaus County. First I will tell you the events that took place in San Jose, and let you draw your own conclusions.

If our law office would have had this case from its inception, I don’t feel that the defendant, Gerardo Hernandez would have been penalized two years three months of his life for a crime he did not commit.

The case involves a gang banger from the West Side Berkeley (WSB) gang. Since it’s all public record now, the name of that gang banger is Mohammed Reza Niknahad, a.k.a. Ryan. I will use Ryan as an identifier in this commentary. Ryan was present during a gang shooting in Oakland by one of his fellow gang bangers. That shooting took the life of an innocent 14-year-old boy who was merely walking along on the sidewalk.

The shooter missed the rival gang member which was his target and killed the young boy. Upon being apprehended and offered a deal, Ryan turned snitch and testified in court against his fellow gang banger causing the shooter to be convicted of homicide. “Snitch” Ryan skated on the homicide charge for rolling over on his buddy. However, Ryan was convicted of robbery and sentenced to the Santa Rita Correctional Facility in Alameda County.

Gerardo Hernandez

It was there that snitch Ryan first met Gerardo Hernandez. Gerardo, our client, was in for drug charges. While in custody, snitch Ryan decided to drop out of the Berkeley gang. In the vernacular he “rolled it up”, making him “all bad “and of course, had a target on his back for being a snitch. Gerardo and snitch Ryan were only in the same pod for a matter of weeks but became acquainted. When Gerardo got out of facility he lost contact with snitch Ryan.

When Gerardo got out of jail, he decided to turn his life around when he became re-acquainted with a girl he had known since she was 14 years old. When they got together they went through several hardships including having to live in a van. Both became gainfully employed and saved their money until they could get their own apartment in San Jose.

Gerardo had completely distanced himself from his gang which was the “Lil Decoto Gangstas” (LDG) from Union City. Gerardo did not “drop out” because someone who dropped out was normally a snitch or cooperated with the police. Since he had not done that he didn’t want to get tagged that way. So he merely became inactive and left the gang lifestyle behind him.

Gerardo and his girlfriend Jessica were living a quiet and peaceful life there in San Jose. And this is where the story takes a strange turn. The apartment complex that Gerardo and Jessica were living in, has a swimming pool. A less desirable apartment complex across the street had no pool recreational facilities. Gerardo and Jessica’s complex had the pool, large children’s playground and other amenities.

For some unknown reason the residents of the less desirable complex across the street were allowed to come into Gerardo and Jessica’s complex and swim in the pool. Gerardo who had joint custody of his two young daughters from a prior marriage, on visitation allowed them to use the facilities.

One day in August 2013, Gerardo and Jessica were in the pool area. This was four years after Gerardo had last seen snitch Ryan. Snitch Ryan had come across the street with his wife to use the pool facilities. As snitch Ryan and Gerardo looked at each other, snitch Ryan said to Gerardo don’t I know you from Alameda County? Gerardo then recognized him and said yes that was him.

Snitch Ryan knew that Gerardo was an excellent tattoo artist. Snitch Ryan had told Gerardo that he had to be careful because some Nortenios had broken Ryan’s car windows and thrown bottles at him one day when he drove into his parking area. Gerardo told snitch Ryan that he was no longer active in the gang and had no one after him.

Snitch Ryan asked Gerardo if he would be able to cover up a very large “14” he had on his chest as he wanted to try to remove the gang tattoo. Gerardo first said he would do that but after thinking about the fact that snitch Ryan had the gang after him for snitching decided he didn’t want to have anything to do with snitch Ryan. So the next day when snitch Ryan called about getting the cover up done, Gerardo told him he didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Snitch Ryan became angry and made repeated telephone calls cussing out Gerardo.

Gerardo just ignored it and when about his business. During my investigation while the trial was going on, I spoke to one of the managers at the apartment complex where Gerardo and Jessica resided. She told me that the little community there was aware that snitch Ryan had people looking for him and that he was paranoid, rightfully so.

Next part II the snitch gets shot

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