OAKLAND — Just three days before Paul Faaui allegedly shot and killed a 32-year-old man outside of a laundromat on Bancroft Avenue, Faaui was in court, where a probation officer was attempting to jail him for alleged pretrial release violations involving a device used to verify Faaui’s sobriety.
The probation officer argued that starting in late July, Faaui had failed to take mandatory breathalyzer tests for 11 days, and that the day after a judge denied a request to terminate his pretrial release, Faaui had failed a breathalyzer test that recorded his blood alcohol content at an unbelievably high level of .507, more than 60 times the legal limit. The terms of Faaui’s pretrial release included a prohibition on consuming alcohol and requirements to regularly check in with the pretrial services department, neither of which Faaui was doing, the officer argued.
Judge James Cramer denied the probation officer’s request, but reminded Faaui of his requirements and told him to check in with pretrial services if he was experiencing difficulties or malfunctions with the breathalyzer, according to a minute order of the Aug. 17 hearing.
A week later, Faaui, 21, appeared again before Cramer, who terminated his pretrial release. This time, it was a mere formality; Faaui had been charged with murder and was already being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
Faaui is now the second Oakland murder suspect in recent months to have committed his crime while out of jail with a pending shooting case. In August, 34-year-old Amadi Monroe confessed to killing his girlfriend and his longtime friend in separate Bay Area shootings, within three weeks of posting $200,000 bail to secure his release from jail in a case where he was accused of shooting at a car while leaving a retirement center where his mother stayed.
Before lowering Monroe’s bail from $300,000, Judge Thomas Nixon remarked, “I really shouldn’t do that,” given Monroe’s criminal history, but warned Monroe, “If you’re caught with another gun, you will get serious state time,” according to a transcript of the hearing. Police say the gun he used to kill his girlfriend and his friend was also used in two other nonfatal shootings in Richmond.
In Faaui’s case, he was charged with assault and gun possession for allegedly firing three shots during a May 28 argument with a family member in Oakland. Rather than hold him to a high bail, Judge Cramer agreed to release Faaui on his own recognizance, without bail but with several conditions. Faaui was required not to drink alcohol, to stay away from the alleged victim, report to a pretrial services officer and to not possess guns or ammunition, according to court records.
Pretrial release programs exist in a majority of California’s counties, and attempt to balance public safety with the acknowledgement that there simply isn’t enough jail space to accommodate the tens of thousands of felony cases that get filed each year. Alameda County’s lone adult jail has a stated capacity of about 3,500 men and women, and houses federal detainees as well as those charged in Alameda County Superior Court.
Unlike a release on bail, those deemed worthy for release on their own recognizance aren’t required to put up money or property. Instead they’re assigned an officer, and are treated similarly to those on probation. They’re typically given four-way search clauses — meaning police can search them or their homes without a warrant — and tailored conditions set by a judge, who has the discretion to extend or terminate the release, depending on the individual’s behavior.
Faaui’s pretrial release initially seemed to be going smoothly. He reported to his pretrial services officer as required, just four days after his June 2 release from jail, and maintained compliance for the next few weeks.
But starting a month later, there were problems, according to a July 28 probation report. From July 4 to July 19, he missed 11 breathalyzer tests, and didn’t respond to three attempts by his officer to contact him in late July, the report says.
The probation officer asked that Faaui either be jailed or outfitted with an ankle monitor, but the request was denied on Aug. 4. After Faaui allegedly failed a breathalyzer test the very next day, his probation officer submitted a second report recommending Faaui be jailed.
“The defendant is not a fit for pretrial release…This officer respectfully recommends that the defendant be terminated and revoked from pretrial services,” Probation Officer Jaime Ceja wrote in a report filed Aug. 9.
Three days after the request was denied, on the afternoon of Aug. 20, Faaui allegedly walked into the Clean Slate Laundromat on the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue in East Oakland, then exited and walked up to a Nissan Murano. Inside the Nissan was 32-year-old Julian Carrillo-Garcia, who appeared to have a brief discussion with Faaui before Faaui allegedly produced a handgun and fired at him, according to police.
Police haven’t disclosed the suspected motive for the shooting, nor said if there was a pre-existing relationship between the two men.
The shooting was captured on surveillance video, which showed Faaui drive away immediately after the shooting. Police tracked him down after realizing the vehicle was registered to his wife, who later attempted to report the vehicle stolen, authorities say.
Paula Faaui’s wife, Sariah Faaui, 26, of Oakland, was charged with accessory for allegedly making a false stolen car report, police said. She remains in Santa Rita Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.