Defense attorney’s for Andrew Hall, the Danville police officer charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda in 2018, have rested their case without calling their client to testify.
Closing arguments in the case that stunned Danville when it unfolded in broad daylight on a busy street and ended in a flurry of gunfire with a Newark man dead are expected today.
The central issue of Hall’s defense remains that he and other deputies believed they were in imminent danger from Arboleda’s car after a relatively slow-speed chase through downtown Danville appeared to have ground to a halt on Nov. 3, 2018. Prosecutors allege the deputy used more force than was legally justified when he and other deputies surrounded Arboleda, firing ten times as the 33-year-old Newark man attempted to maneuver through blocking police vehicles, hitting him nine times.
Hall pleaded not guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm, his attorneys using body worn camera footage in their effort to convince the jury that Arboleda’s car was headed for him when he opened fire.
Prosecutors alleged Hall violated department procedure when he kept firing even as Arboleda’s grey Honda Civic passed him, the car drifting across Diablo Road before coming to rest against another car.
The case has attracted attention from many sectors, including police supporters and those angry over continued police shootings of unarmed civilians. Tensions heightened when it was determined that Arboleda had previously been diagnosed with mental illness, possibly explaining the odd actions he had exhibited the day he came to the attention of neighbors and police.
Hall was subsequently involved in another shooting in March 2021, when he shot and killed 32-year-old transient Tyrell Wilson near the Sycamore Valley Road overpass of Interstate Highway 680 after Wilson was allegedly observed throwing rocks off the overpass and began to advance on Hall with a knife.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler ruled last month the 2021 case can’t be used against Hall during his trial. Authorities are still investigating the second shooting, and no charges have been filed.