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Judge says jury can’t consider other allegations against officer in 2018 manslaughter trial

The judge presiding over the case involving a Danville police officer accused of manslaughter said Monday she won’t allow jurors to hear that Andrew Hall, who shot Laudemer Arboleda nine times as he tried to pull away from police in 2018, was cleared of wrongdoing after the shooting by police investigators.

Hearing pre-trial motions Monday in Martinez, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler also said evidence from a second shooting involving Hall in March 2021 — when he shot and killed 32-year-old transient Tyrell Wilson — can’t be used against Hall during the trial. The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, which contracts with Danville for police services, is still investigating the second shooting, and no charges have been filed.

Arboleda, 33, led police on a slow speed chase through Danville on Nov. 3, 2018, after police repeatedly tried pulling him over. Police were called after residents complained about a suspicious person knocking on doors.

Arboleda’s life ended at the intersection of Diablo Road and Front Street, with two police units behind Arboleda’s gray Honda Civic, and two in front, including Hall’s. Arboleda was trying to pull between two police cars, when Hall opened fire at the front driver’s side of Arboleda’s car, hitting the Newark man nine times.

Harika Maddala/Bay City News Danville, Calif. police officer, Andrew Hall, center, heads into his preliminary hearing at the A. F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez, Calif., on July 20, 2021 for the death of Laudemer Arboleda. (Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

Hall has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Harry Stern, has said Hall was firing in self-defense.

Mockler also said Monday that two other allegations that Hall used excessive force, including one incident from 2014 at the Martinez Detention Facility, also can’t be used during Hall’s upcoming trial.

Mockler said she would allow evidence of Arboleda’s mental issues to be admitted, though she said she doesn’t “want it to become a separate little trial.” Assistant District Attorney Chris Walpole said Monday that Arboleda was hospitalized earlier in 2018 for mental illness.

Prosecutors announced they were pressing charges in the 2018 case after Hall was involved in a second shooting earlier this year.

On March 11, Hall responded to reports of a man throwing rocks onto Interstate Highway 680 from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass in Danville. Police have said Wilson approached Hall near the overpass with a folding knife and Hall shot him in self-defense. Wilson’s family has also said he suffered from mental health issues.

Hall, who is currently on administrative leave, didn’t appear in court Monday. Jury selection will begin Wednesday and the trial will likely last through most of October.

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