Four Men Plead No Contest in Gang Shooting Case Exposing Racist Text Messages Among Antioch Police Officers

Four Men Plead No Contest in Gang Shooting Case Exposing Racist Text Messages Among Antioch Police Officers

Four men, Terryon Pugh, Eric Windom, Keyshawn McGee, and Trent Allen, pleaded no contest on Monday to charges of voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder in the gang shooting case that resulted in the death of Arnold Marcel Hawkins. The incident, which occurred in March 2021, shed light on a disturbing revelation of racist text messages exchanged among dozens of Antioch police officers.

Under a plea deal with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, Pugh is expected to receive a 20-year prison sentence. Windom and Allen are likely to be sentenced to 19 years in prison, while McGee agreed to a deal calling for 18 years and 8 months behind bars. Sentencing for the four individuals is scheduled for later this week.

In addition to the charges related to Hawkins’ death, Pugh also pleaded no contest to attempted murder in a separate shooting at a 76 gas station a week prior. Prosecutors alleged that the four men traveled together from San Leandro to Antioch, where they fatally shot one person and injured another. Hawkins succumbed to his injuries six months after the shooting.

Furthermore, the investigation into the gang shooting case led to a parallel scandal involving more than a dozen Antioch and Pittsburg police officers. The FBI and Contra Costa DA launched an inquiry into alleged crimes committed by these officers, which uncovered a trove of racist, sexist, and homophobic text messages exchanged among Antioch cops. Many of these messages referenced their jobs and individuals under investigation, including the defendants in this case.

As a result, prosecutors acknowledged that the Antioch officers had violated the Racial Justice Act, a state law aimed at eliminating racism from the criminal justice system. Consequently, a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge dismissed all special-circumstances enhancements against the four men, eliminating the possibility of life without parole as a potential outcome.

Author: CrimeDoor

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