The sentencing of those convicted of murdering Novato resident Tong Van Le was delayed in September, after the credibility of a former Novato police officer assigned to the case came into question. Now, the former cop is suspected of stealing, using and distributing narcotics that were meant to be destroyed.
The case is at a standstill with the emergence of “Brady material,” which is defined as possibly impeaching information to the guilt, innocence or punishment of a defendant. The four defendants were found guilty of murder in May and face life behind bars.
Jehan “J.J.” Amdjadi, one of many investigators to testify during the trial, was employed by the Novato Police Department from June 1, 2004-July 27, 2012. During a court hearing last week, attorneys stated that Amdjadi tested positive for cocaine use. District Attorney Edward Berberian is now conducting a criminal investigation.
Amdadi’s alleged misconduct came to the surface during an internal investigation. Defense attorneys are also investigating if any fellow employees knew of Amdjadi’s alleged misconduct and kept it secret throughout court proceedings. Amdjadi was a lead detective on the murder case.
The defendants, Larry Blay Jr., his brother Deandre, Kevin Abram and C. Autis Johnson III, were scheduled to be sentenced at Marin County Superior Court in San Rafael on Sept. 10 after more than 100 witnesses testified and a jury found them guilty. But now they are hoping for a retrial.
The killers were found guilty of the Sept. 13, 2008, execution of 44-year-old Le, who owned Nasser Market in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights.
The murderers followed Le to his Novato home where Le was gunned down in his garage.
Due to such information surfacing, the case may possibly be appealed or reopened. A Marin County judge set another hearing for Oct. 31.
Editor’s note: The hearing for a re-trial is set for the defendants on Feb. 25. Further information about Amdjadi will be released during future court proceedings.
Contact Nicole Baptista at email@example.com
This story was previously published on Oct. 24, 2012. It has been reprinted as part of the Marinscope Community Newspaper's "Best of 2012" issue.