Justice Afoa Case: Preliminary Examination Begins Tuesday

Three individuals are charged with the 2010 killing of 17-year-old Newark teen Justice Afoa.

Evidence that will be considered to determine whether three Tri-City residents should stand trial for the 2010 murder of a Newark teen could be presented in court this week.

The preliminary examination of two men and one woman charged with the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Justice Afoa is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Daniel Howard, 31, of Fremont, and co-defendants Rafael Tovar, 32, and Daniela Guzman, 19, both of Newark, are scheduled to appear at the preliminary examination at 8:50 a.m. on Jan. 22 at the Hayward Superior Court on, according to the District Attorney's office.

Authorities believe all three suspects are members of Norteno gangs.

The trio is facing charges of murder and felony conspiracy to commit murder with gang enhancements in connection to the former Newark Memorial High School student's killing. Although Guzman was 17 at the time of the murder, she will be tried as an adult.

A complaint read in court during the suspects' first court appearance on Dec. 12 alleges that the three individuals conspired to kill Justice after he had beaten up Tovar at a house party in September 2010.

Police responded to Cedar Boulevard at Birch Street around 3:40 p.m. on Dec. 15 and found Justice bleeding of apparent stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities believe Tovar and Howard stabbed Justice at least five times each.

Guzman and Tovar were arrested Dec. 10 after two of three suspects confessed to taking part in the 2010 stabbing, according to Newark Police Cmdr. Michael Carroll. Carroll did not comment on which suspects confessed.

Howard was re-arrested in connection to the 2010 slaying after he was interviewed by officers in jail, where he was being held on an attempted murder charge that stemmed from a Nov. 25 incident in Fremont.

All three suspects are being held at Santa Rita Jail on no bail.


  • Accused Trio In Justice Afoa Murder Plead Not Guilty
  • Justice Afoa Case: Fourth Suspect Arrested
  • Justice Afoa Case: Arrests Made in 2010 Teen Slaying
  • 17-year-old Student Stabbed to Death Near Newark Memorial High


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