OAKLAND - A man pleaded not guilty today to two counts of murder for allegedly killing two men in separate incidents in Oakland about four hours apart in August 2008.
The case against 23-year-old Dijon Holifield wasn't solved until DNA evidence was developed against him last year, according to a probable cause statement by Oakland police Officer Herbert Webber.
Holifield is charged with fatally shooting 30-year-old Keenan Hall of Fremont in the 800 block of 45th Street, near Children's Hospital Oakland, at about 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2008, as well as fatally shooting 18-year-old James Thomas in the 900 block of Kirkham Court in West Oakland at about 2 a.m. the next morning.
Webber said officers found Thomas lying on the pavement suffering from multiple gunshot wounds near a 2008 Dodge Magnum that had multiple bullet holes.
Inside the car officers found another victim who was suffering from gunshot wounds but survived as well as another passenger who was unharmed, Webber said.
Holifield was charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at those two people.
He also was charged with carjacking for allegedly taking a 2000 Cadillac Deville shortly before the shootings, Webber said.
The owner of the Cadillac Deville told police that he was approached by two suspects who brandished firearms and demanded his keys, according to Webber.
Holifield already is serving 13 years and 4 months in state prison for his conviction for a robbery and shooting that occurred on Aug. 17, 2008, only a few days after the fatal shootings, Webber wrote in his statement.
Holifield was shot by the victim in that incident and dropped his pistol, which was recovered by police, according to Webber.
Ballistics tests later identified Holifield's pistol as one of the guns that was used in both of the murders, Webber said.
A DNA swab from the Cadillac Deville's steering wheel was connected to Holifield last March, Webber said.
Holifield denied being involved in the two murders when he was questioned by police, according to Webber.
Holifield is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on March 17 for a pretrial hearing.
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