OAKLAND -- The preliminary hearing for two men charged with murder for the shooting death of 3-year-old Carlos Nava in East Oakland last August was delayed again Monday, but a judge said she won't grant any further delays.
The fatal shooting of Carlos in the 6400 block of International Boulevard at about 1:10 p.m. on Aug. 8 while his family was shopping sparked outrage in Oakland and elsewhere.
Lawrence Denard, 27, the suspected shooter, and 23-year-old Willie Torrence, the suspected driver, are both charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Their preliminary hearing, which will determine if there's enough evidence to have them ordered to stand trial, had been scheduled to begin on Aug. 13 but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta delayed it until Oct. 29 at the request of the attorneys who are handling the case.
However, Panetta said the time period between the end of the preliminary hearing for Denard and Torrence and the beginning of their trial, if the case gets to that point, will be shorter than usual so that the case keeps moving along.
"I'd like to have the trial begin before August 2013," Panetta said.
Oakland police said they believe the shooting was gang-related and that Denard's intended targets were two adult males who were wounded but survived.
They said Carlos and his family had no connection to the two male adult victims.
Denard was arrested in
Torrence was arrested in Las Vegas on Aug. 12 and was extradited to Alameda County two weeks ago.
Torrence was on parole for violating his probation for a previous conviction on illegal gun charges.
Oakland police said they believe Torrence was the driver in the shooting.
According to a probable cause statement filed in court by detectives, Torrence gave a taped statement to Oakland homicide investigators denying any involvement in the shooting.
In addition to his prior conviction on illegal gun charges, Torrence also was convicted of robbery when he was a juvenile and declared a ward of the juvenile court system, according to court records.