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Legal mess surrounds 2011 Antioch police shooting lawsuit

SAN QUENTIN — A man serving life for a double-murder conviction wrote a federal just last week and said he wishes to continue his 2011 lawsuit against an Antioch police officer who shot him.

Barry White Jr. was a 23-year-old Antioch resident in 2013 when he was arrested and charged with a brutal double murder of two San Francisco jewelry store employees. He sued Antioch police in 2011, two years after he and two others were shot by then-Ofc. Nicholas Cuevas.

“I’m clueless to the Contra Costa case and defense lawyer wishes. I don’t contact him because my mother died Jan. 7, 2018,” White wrote in his handwritten letter to the judge, after saying he’d been sentenced to life in prison the following day. “I would like to move forward with the cases.”

But when it will proceed depends on the outcome of the assault case that stems from the night White was shot, which is still pending even though he is serving double-life in San Quentin.

In Aug. 2009, White and two friends were kept from a party in Antioch and one of those friends brandished a shotgun at the bouncer, according to prosecutors. Cuevas began tailing the car, and from there, the accounts differ.

Prosecutors say White tried to run Cuevas over, and that he fired four shots into their car in self-defense. White was struck in the head and back, and his friend was shot in the back.

White’s 2011 lawsuit alleges police “tried to brutally murder three African-American men,” and that Cuevas “shot White in the back and left him for dead in a pool of blood.” It also alleged other officers beat White’s friend.

In most cases, the suit would have reached some kind of resolution by now. But in the seven years since it has been filed, it has been caught in legal doldrums for one reason after another.

First there was White’s double murder trial, where evidence included video footage that showed him using a knife to cut 35-year-old Khin Min from “ear to ear.” Another victim, 51-year-old Lina Lim, was found nearly decapitated. White shot a third person, who survived.

All three victims worked at Victoga, a jewelry store in San Francisco, and prosecutors say White accused them of overcharging him for something before the killing. His defense lawyer did not deny White killed Min and Lim, but said he had suffered cognitive brain damage after being shot by Cuevas in 2009.

Last year, a jury convicted White of 16 felony counts, including two counts of first degree murder. In January, he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Cuevas, meanwhile, moved to San Francisco Police Department. In December 2015, he was one of five officers named as being involved in the fatal shooting of Mario Woods.

After White was sent to prison, the city of Antioch filed notice that he still had pending assault charges and a $250,000 arrest warrant related to the 2009 incident. On Monday, a judge ruled that if White is acquitted or the charges dismissed, his lawsuit can proceed, but she’ll dismiss it if he’s convicted.

But Contra Costa prosecutors say they have to wait for White’s appeal in the double-murder to resolve before they move ahead with the assault case, according to court records.

Source: East Bay Legal mess surrounds 2011 Antioch police shooting lawsuit

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