A 22-year-old Newark man was arrested Monday on suspicion of assaulting 17-year-old Justice Afoa less than two months before the teen was killed on a busy street in December 2010, officials said.
Newark police arrested Anthony Bernal, 22, of Newark, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury, attempted carjacking and being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition in connection to an incident that occurred on Oct. 30, 2010.
Bernal is believed to have assaulted Justice, a former Newark Memorial High School student, and a second victim during a house party in the area of Lake Boulevard and Cedar Boulevard, according to a Newark Police Department press release.
“Police believe this was one of a series of incidents which eventually culminated in Afoa’s death. The second person was transported to a local hospital for treatment of severe stab wounds,” the press release states.
Authorities noted that Bernal may face more charges in the future and the investigation of Justice’s killing is ongoing and that “police have not ruled out additional arrests.” Bernal is being held at Santa Rita Jail on a $490,000 bail and is scheduled for an arraignment at the Fremont Hall of Justice on Friday at 9 a.m., according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office online database.
Police responded to Cedar Boulevard at Birch Street around 3:40 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2010 and found Justice bleeding of apparent stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bernal’s arrest comes one week after three others were arrested in connection to Justice’s stabbing death.
Newark residents Rafael Tovar, 32 and Daniela Guzman, 19, along with Fremont resident Daniel Howard, 31, were arrested Dec. 10 after two of the three suspects confessed to taking part in the 2010 stabbing.
Guzman, Tovar and Howard all face charges of murder and felony conspiracy to commit murder with gang enhancements. Guzman, who was 17 at the time of the murder, will be tried as an adult. All three are members of Norteno gangs and are being held at Santa Rita on no bail, according to the district attorney’s office.
Guzman, Tovar and Howard have yet to enter a plea and are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 9 for a plea entry hearing, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office online database.
Police ask that anyone with information about the above incidents call the department's non-emergency line at 510-578-4237 and ask for the Detective Division. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to the department's “silent witness” hotline at (510) 578-4965.
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