Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Hughes trial set to begin next week

LAKE COUNTY – With jury selection completed, the trial of a San Francisco man accused of the murders of two friends is set to begin next week.


Renato Hughes, 23, will go on trial beginning Wednesday, June 11, in Martinez, District Attorney Jon Hopkins reported.


Jury selection wrapped up Friday, said Hopkins.


The minute the jury was selected, a young woman raised her hand and asked to be excused because a medical condition she has was being exacerbated by the proceedings, said Hopkins.


The judge granted the request, said Hopkins, which required he and defense attorney Stuart Hanlon to choose a new juror from among four alternates.


Opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning, said Hopkins.


He anticipates the trial wrapping up in the latter part of July.


Hughes is being tried for the murders of his two friends, Christian Foster and Rashad Williams, who were shot to death after allegedly breaking into Shannon Edmonds' Clearlake Park home on the morning of Dec. 7, 2005.


The case against Hughes alleges he and his two companions beat Edmonds, his girlfriend and her son severely as they tried to steal marijuana Edmonds claimed to have a medical prescription to use.


Edmonds reportedly shot Foster and Williams as they ran from the home, but Hughes is being tried for their deaths under the provocative act legal theory because he allegedly took part in a crime that could result in a lethal response – the shooting of his two companions.


The jury seated Friday actually is the second jury to be selected in the Hughes case.


Last Nov. 15, after a three-week jury selection in Lake County was completed and the jury seated, Judge William McKinstry, a retired Alameda County judge assigned to the case, granted Hanlon's change of venue motion. In his decision McKinstry cited the number of jurors excused for various reasons.


In January, Lake County Superior Court Judge Arthur Mann ruled the trial would move to Contra Costa after Hanlon and Hopkins mutually agreed to the venue.


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


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