DATE: August 25, 2016
CASE: Avery Hill, Kelly Thomas & Orlando Rhinehart
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall, Homicide Unit
Avery Hill and Kelly Thomas were convicted by two separate juries of first-degree murder with personal use of a firearm and three counts of first-degree attempted murder with the personal use of a firearm. Thomas was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Rhinehart was acquitted of all counts.
On May 10, 2014, Orlando Rhinehart was at Peregrine Park in Natomas when he noticed members of the New Money gang were at the park attending a birthday party. Rhinehart called Avery Hill, who New Money gang members suspected of murdering one of their members. Hill then called Kelly Thomas, who believed he had been shot at by New Money members before. Hill and Thomas went to the park and met briefly with Rhinehart, who proceeded to leave. Hill and Thomas then opened fire on the party-goers, killing Jacoby James and wounding six others, including a then 7-year-old girl.
A court trial will be held at sentencing on prior strike allegations for Hill for a 2008 attempted robbery and for Thomas for a 2010 burglary conviction.
If the prior strikes are found true, Hill and Thomas face potential sentences of a minimum of 100 years to life in prison. Thomas will be sentenced on September 16, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. Hill will be sentenced on November 14, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. Both sentencings will be in Department 12 before the Honorable Maryanne Gilliard.
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