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Suspect in hit-and-run that killed mother and child served time on accessory charges in 2016 murder

The suspect in a hit-and-run collision in Oakland on Saturday evening that claimed the lives of a 6-year-old boy and his mother previously was charged with murder in connection with a fatal shooting in the city’s Fruitvale district in 2016.

Oakland police are asking for the public’s help in finding Rasenoch Allen, 27, for a collision at 26th Avenue and Foothill Boulevard at 7:21 p.m. on Saturday in which he allegedly struck and killed 6-year-old Angel Garcia and his mother, 30-year-old Alma Vasquez, both Oakland residents.

Police say Allen also struck and injured the boy’s 20-year-old uncle, who remains in critical condition at a hospital.

Police allege that Allen was driving a black Mercedes-Benz two-door car that was traveling west on Foothill Boulevard when it hit the three pedestrians, who were crossing 26th Avenue in a marked crosswalk. Police say Allen then fled the scene without exchanging information and the Mercedes-Benz was later found abandoned in another part of Oakland.

Oakland police said, “We are encouraging Rasenoch Allen to turn himself in” but they also said a reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

Anyone with information about the collision or Allen’s whereabouts is asked to call the Oakland Police Department’s traffic investigation unit at (510) 777-8540 and or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at (510) 777-8572. Police said on Tuesday that Allen remains at large.

Allen previously was charged with murder for allegedly being the driver in the shooting of Kevin Hokes Jr., 22, of Oakland, in the 3300 block of International Boulevard, a few blocks from the Fruitvale BART station, at about 3:40 a.m. on March 17, 2016.

At a preliminary hearing on May 18, 2017, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes ruled that prosecutors produced sufficient evidence against Allen to have him stand trial on the murder charge.

But on March 8, 2018, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office agreed to allow Allen to plead no contest to the lesser charge of being an accessory after the fact in the shooting and he was released from custody after he was formally sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Cramer on April 9, 2018.

Justin Lewis, 25, of San Leandro, was also charged with murder as well as the special circumstance of committing a murder during the course of a robbery for allegedly being the person who fatally shot Hokes. However, on March 12, 2018, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to allow Lewis to plead no contest to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter as well as to attempted robbery.

Lewis was sentenced to 21 years in state prison on April 10, 2018. Last July 3, only a few months after Allen was released from custody for the fatal shooting of Hokes, Allen and three other men were arrested on suspicion of attempted armed robbery in Humboldt County. Allen is free on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court there on May 21 for a hearing in that case.

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