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Berkeley murder defendant pleads not guilty

by Seth Hemmelgarn

  <br><br>Pablo Gomez Jr. Photo: Courtesy Berkeley Police<br>Department<br><br>
  

Pablo Gomez Jr. Photo: Courtesy Berkeley Police
Department

  

A non-binary person charged with murder in the January stabbing death of one Berkeley woman and attempted murder in the stabbing of another has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

 

Pablo Gomez Jr., 22, of North Hollywood, California, entered their plea Thursday, May 18 in Alameda County Superior Court.

 

Gomez is accused of killing Emilie Juliette Inman, 27, of Berkeley and trying to kill another woman January 6. Gomez also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree residential robbery.

 

According to a Berkeley Police Department community alert, officers responded to an 11:42 a.m. call January 6 to the 2600 block of Ridge Road to make contact with a woman who'd apparently been stabbed and was "seriously wounded." The woman survived.

 

While they were investigating that incident, officers were led to a location in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue, where they found "a violent crime had occurred."

 

A probable cause statement filed by police says that "a significant amount of blood was found in certain parts" of the Ashby Avenue property.

 

Gomez "was identified as the suspect and positively identified" by the first victim, said police. During a search of the property, and "pursuant to a search warrant, the deceased body of a female was located," according to police. That woman was eventually identified as Inman.

 

In charging documents filed by prosecutors, the same woman is listed as the victim of the attempted murder and assault, while another person is listed as the victim of the robbery.

 

Police in Burbank, California arrested Gomez January 7.

 

Criminal proceedings in the case had been suspended as doctors evaluated whether Gomez, who reportedly uses third-person pronouns, was competent to stand trial. They were eventually found to be competent, and proceedings were reinstated.

 

Gomez, who's declined an interview request from the Bay Area Reporter, is being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California.

Deputy Public Defender George Arroyo declined to comment outside the courtroom Thursday. People who'd been in the viewing gallery for the hearing also declined to comment.

 

The next court date is June 26 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact the author at s.hemmelgarn@ebar.com .

 

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