Six men have pleaded not guilty to the 2007 murder of Vernon Eddins, a 14-year-old boy who was gunned down in front of a local middle school, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
The pleas were entered on Jan. 11 — nine months after the arrests of suspects Eric Anthony Camacho, 24; Jovencio Luis Camacho, 23; Richard Antonio Corona, 22; Alexis Alfonso Pamiroyan, 23; Derek Justin Rodriguez, 24; and Robert Yim, 22 in April 2012.
The suspects are scheduled to begin a preliminary examination on April 29, after which an Alameda County Superior Court judge will determine if there is enough evidence for the defendants to stand trial on charges of murder.
Eddins, who was a freshman at James Logan High School at the time of his death, was killed in front of Barnard-White Middle School on Whipple Road at about 3:20 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2007.
Eddins’ death, along with the fatal shootings of 17-year-old Biniam Yifru and 21-year-old Jesus Cruz, also in 2007, were catalysts for a citywide anti-violence campaign in Union City.
“For me, Vernon’s death brought us to a common ground. It affected everyone,” Karen Yifru, whose son, Biniam, was shot and killed at a house party in June 2007, told Patch last year. Yifru helped spearhead Union City's Youth Violence Prevention Coalition, which evolved into the city-run Youth Violence Prevention and Intervention Program.
“When Vernon died, he pushed us over the edge and pushed us forward. He was 14. He was a baby," she said.
A week before being charged in the Eddins case, Yim was arrested and charged with murder for the 2010 shooting of 17-year-old Samuel Nava III in Hayward.
Veronica Rodriguez was also arrested in connection to Nava’s slaying. However, her charges were lowered from murder to accessory to homicide after she testified in August that she gave Yim a ride home following the shooting but was unaware what had occurred.
Yim, who pleaded not guilty to Nava’s murder in July, will begin pre-trial hearings in the Nava case on Feb. 22, according to Lowe.
- Six Charged with 2007 Murder of 14-Year-Old at Barnard-White Middle School
- Community Responses to Arrests in Eddins Case
- Suspects Plead Not Guilty in 2010 Hayward Teen Homicide
- Suspect in Samuel Nava Slaying Released