Andrew Hall, the former Danville police officer who shot and killed unarmed motorist Laudemer Arboleda in 2018, has been sentenced to six years in state prison by a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge in Martinez.
Because he was convicted of a violent felony — assault with a firearm — Hall must spend at least 85 percent of his sentence in prison before being eligible for parole, or 5.1 years.
“The people of Contra Costa County put their trust in Mr. Hall to protect them, and he violated that trust,” Judge Terri Mockler said, adding that Arboleda “did not deserve to die for evading a police officer. That is really the crux of this. While he may have violated the law, it was no law that carried a sentence of death for him.”
Hall’s attorney Harry Stern objected to the description of a death sentence, considering the jury chose not to convict Hall on a manslaughter charge, to which Mockler conceded, “Point well taken. But the point is he did not deserve to die.”
Hall — who is still under investigation for another fatal shooting in 2021 — received three years for the assault with a firearm charge itself, plus another three for the enhancement of inflicting great bodily harm. He could have received another three years for the use of the firearm, which Mockler dismissed, saying it was already factored into the original charge.
Hall shot and killed 33-year-old Arboleda at the end of a slow-speed police pursuit in Danville on Nov, 3, 2018. He shot him nine times as the Newark man pulled away at 6 mph.
Officers trailed Arboleda after someone called police to report Arboleda knocked on their door. Arboleda, whose family said he was hospitalized earlier that year for mental illness, pulled over multiple times, only to drive away from police. At one point, officers drew their guns without shooting as Arboleda drove away.
Hall was only involved at the very end, when he pulled in front of Arboleda’s Honda at the corner of Front and Diablo streets. He exited his car and stood near the Honda’s front right side. As Arboleda tried pulling away, Hall discharged his weapon 10 times, hitting Arboleda with nine bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hall’s lawyers said the officer was only trying to protect himself from an oncoming vehicle, though video shows that many of the shots came from the vehicle’s passenger side as Arboleda tried driving away. The car ended up crossing Diablo Road and colliding with an oncoming car.
Judge criticizes incident reports
During proceedings March 1, Mockler took issue with a report from the county’s probation department, as well as a sentencing memo from the defense, both of which she said left out “critical evidence” from the trial. Some of that evidence included testimony from other officers that Hall did not communicate to them he was joining the situation, and that a supervisor on the scene, located on the other side of Arboleda’s car, felt endangered by Hall’s gunfire.
Mockler also said the reports ignored expert testimony saying it wasn’t clear which shot was the chest shot they said killed Arboleda. That is pertinent because the car was moving as Hall fired the shots, which Mockler pointed out was also against Sheriff’s Office policy.
At that point, Stern asked if he could approach the bench, to which Mockler said “no.”
“Hall violated his civil rights. He killed, and overkilled, my son because he was a brown man in the white city of Danville.”Jeannie Atienza, Laudemer Arboleda’s mother
Mockler said the probation report also left out testimony saying Hall was trained not to fire into a moving vehicle, as doing so makes “the vehicle a guided missile, which is exactly what happened,” when it crossed the street and struck a vehicle driven by an elderly woman.
An initial investigation by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, which contracts with Danville for police service, cleared Hall of wrongdoing.
Charges were not filed in the Arboleda case until Hall made more news by fatally shooting another man in March 2021 in Danville, when he killed 32-year-old transient Tyrell Wilson near the Sycamore Valley Road overpass of Interstate 680.
Police say Wilson approached Hall with a knife, which seems to be confirmed in bodycam video. Mockler earlier ruled the Wilson case could not be used against Hall during the Arboleda trial.
Arboleda’s family members were under no such constraints Tuesday when speaking to Mockler before she handed down the sentence. Arboleda’s mother Jeannie Atienza called him a “murderer and a serial killer.”
“Hall violated his civil rights,” Atienza said. “He killed, and overkilled, my son because he was a brown man in the white city of Danville.”
Authorities are still investigating the Wilson shooting, and no charges have been filed.
Shortly after the October verdict, Contra Costa County agreed to pay $4.9 million to Arboleda’s family to settle a lawsuit.