Sunday, 25 February 2024

Hughes trial set tentatively for next week

LAKE COUNTY – A San Francisco man's double-murder trial may start next week.


Renato Hughes, 23, is scheduled to go on trial for the December 2005 deaths of Christian Foster and Rashad Williams.


Lake County News' last report on the case stated that the trial appeared ready to begin on Nov. 6.


However, late last week District Attorney Jon Hopkins said jury selection is still under way.


Hopkins estimated opening arguments and the first evidence in the trial could take place on Wednesday, Nov. 14.


Foster and Williams were shot by Clearlake Park resident Shannon Edmonds as they ran from his home after an alleged attempted robbery on Dec. 7, 2005.


However, Hughes is being tried for their deaths under the provocative act theory, which holds him responsible because he is alleged to have participated in a crime that resulted in a lethal response, in this case by Edmonds.


Hopkins, a veteran prosecutor with a nearly flawless record when it comes to winning homicide convictions, will be matched with Hughes' defense attorney, Stuart Hanlon of San Francisco.


Hanlon may be best known for his work on the case of Geronimo Pratt, a Louisianan and Vietnam veteran who became a member of the Black Panthers.


Pratt was imprisoned for 27 years for a murder he didn't commit. It was Hanlon and famed attorney Johnnie Cochran who eventually succeeded in willing Pratt's release in 1997.


In 2003, Hanlon was a member of the legal team representing San Francisco Police Chief Earl Sanders and nine officers facing obstruction of justice charges, according to a San Francisco Chronicle account.


The Chronicle stated that Hanlon was considered one of San Francisco's best defense attorneys.


Hanlon has tried unsuccessfully, so far, to have Hughes' case moved from Lake County, citing concerns about the largely white makeup of the county's population.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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