Sunday, 25 February 2024

Judge declares hung jury on remaining Hughes charge

The jury in a high profile murder case could not reach a decision on the last of six charges decided on Monday.


Renato Hughes, 23, of San Francisco, was acquitted last Friday by an all-woman jury, who found he was not responsible for the deaths of friends Christian Foster, 22, and Rashad Williams, 21, on Dec. 7, 2005.


On Monday, Hughes' Martinez jury returned to complete deliberations on a charge of assault causing great bodily injury, said District Attorney Jon Hopkins.


The jury had apparently nearly decided last week to find Hughes guilty of the charge until one juror changed her mind overnight, said Hopkins. That juror remained unconvinced and so the jury was declared hung on the charge, 11-1.


Defense attorneys Stuart Hanlon and Sara Rief couldn't be reached for comment late Monday.


Hughes and his friends allegedly had broken into the Clearlake Park home of Shannon Edmonds to steal medical marijuana.


As a result, Hughes had been charged with the deaths of his friends under the provocative act – which allows people who allegedly participate in violent crimes that can result in a lethal response to be charged with murder for any deaths that occur – even though it was homeowner Shannon Edmonds who shot the two men. Edmonds has not been charged in the case.


Last week Hughes also was acquitted of robbery and attempted murder, as Lake County News has reported. He was, however, found guilty of burglary and assault for a firearm.


The trial – which began June 11 – was moved to Contra Costa County earlier this year following a decision by a judge last November to grant Hanlon's change of venue motion.


Hopkins said Hughes will return to Judge Barbara Zuniga's courtroom at 11 a.m. Sept. 9 for sentencing.


Hughes faces a maximum of eight years in prison, with the burglary counted as a strike, said Hopkins.


By the time he is sentenced, Hughes will have spent two years and nine months in jail, said Hopkins.


Based on the formula for time served, which takes the time actually spent in jail and adds 50 percent, Hughes will have credit for just over four years against his sentence, Hopkins said.


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


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