July 14, 2024
Teaunte Bailey, 28, was convicted of murdering 75-year-old Pak Ho, but the jury acquitted 59-year-old Demetrius Britton of the same charge.

OAKLAND — An Alameda County jury convicted one man of murder and acquitted another in the 2021 beating death of a 75-year-old man, reaching a split verdict that still leaves one charge as an open-ended question.

Teaunte Bailey, 28, who prosecutors say fatally beat 75-year-old Pak Ho in March 2021, was convicted of murdering and robbing Ho, and of robbing a man during a prior incident in Oakland, but Bailey’s co-defendant, 59-year-old Demetrius Britton, was acquitted of murder.

During trial, prosecutors argued Britton was waiting in the truck while Bailey attacked Ho, but Britton’s attorney argued that his client was nowhere near the scene and that another man was actually behind the wheel.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on the robbery count against Britton.

In an interview with the Bay Area News Group, defense attorney David Briggs — who represented Britton — said that members of the jury informed him they were split 9-3 toward acquittal on the robbery count. Briggs said he will argue at a Wednesday court hearing that the charge should be dismissed, or at least that Britton should be freed from jail while the case is pending.

“The jury did the right thing,” Briggs said of the not guilty verdict. “That was exactly the right verdict.”

Ho, a widower who lived alone, was on a morning walk on March 9, 2021 in Oakland’s Adams Point neighborhood when a truck with two people in it pulled up near him. Bailey allegedly exited the car and punched Ho, who fell to the ground, struck his head on the concrete, and ultimately died from his injuries.

The evidence against Bailey seemed difficult for the defense to overcome; he was found in possession of Ho’s property later that day, while attempting to carjack a woman in a McDonald’s drive-thru as a last-ditch attempt to evade police. He was also wearing a GPS ankle monitor that tracked his location during not only Ho’s murder but also the prior home invasion robbery in Oakland, authorities said.

Britton’s identification as a suspect, however, was more flawed. An eyewitness who admitted to hiding behind garbage cans during the assault initially told police both suspects appeared to be in their 30s. Britton was found in possession of Ho’s credit card days after the murder, but that was after two other people had already attempted to use it.

Briggs argued that other witnesses who claimed that Britton had confessed to them were literally fiending for heroin during their police interviews and would have said anything to get out of custody.

On top of all that, Briggs argued that whoever was in the car with Bailey had not committed murder, because there was no proof the truck’s other occupant knew in advance that Bailey intended to physically attack Ho.

Bailey faces a life sentence without a chance of parole for decades. Just before trial, though, Alameda County prosecutors dismissed enhancements that would have made Bailey eligible for a sentence of life without parole.