Victim testifies against Pablo Gomez at preliminary hearing

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Update 11/20/2017: This article has been updated to remove specific address information due to privacy concerns.

Several witnesses testified against Pablo Gomez Jr. at a preliminary hearing Monday morning.

Gomez, 22, was arrested Jan. 7 in connection with the stabbing of UC Berkeley student Kiana Schmitt and the murder of South Berkeley resident Emilie Inman. At the time, Gomez was also a UC Berkeley student. They are facing four felony charges — murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and first degree robbery.

At the hearing, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Tara Desautels said the court found sufficient evidence to hold Gomez to answer to all but one count, first degree robbery, which will be discharged.

Many friends and family members of both victims attended the hearing. Gomez, along with their friends and family, were also in attendance. Schmitt and several Berkeley Police Department officers testified at the hearing.

During the hearing, Schmitt described herself as a “close friend” of Gomez. Schmitt said at the hearing that she, Gomez and several others drove up to Berkeley from Los Angeles on Jan. 5.

That night, according to Schmitt, a group of people, including Schmitt and Gomez, went to the UC Berkeley co-op Afro House so Gomez could perform a Dia De Los Reyes ceremony at the house. The ceremony was supposed to take place at midnight, but about midnight Schmitt alleged that Gomez looked distressed and asked both Schmitt and her friend, “Is this real?” before running out of the house wearing very few clothes.

Although several people chased after Gomez, they eventually lost track of them.

Schmitt said that when she saw Gomez the next morning, their hair, which previously had been down past their shoulders, was shaved off. They also told Schmitt that they were not Pablo anymore, but “Ray.”

“They were clearly distressed,” Schmitt said at the hearing.

At the hearing, Schmitt said Gomez kept muttering to themselves Jan. 6 and demanded Schmitt drive them to a residence on the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue. She said that after she parked the car, she followed Gomez to the backyard.

“I saw Pablo pacing with a knife (and a) lot of blood on the ground and on the knife (in the backyard),” Schmitt alleged.

Schmitt alleged that Gomez asked her for help to clean up the blood and that Gomez asked her not to tell anyone what happened after the two moved into the shed on the property. Schmitt promised she wouldn’t, but she alleged at the hearing that Gomez said they couldn’t have any uncertainty and began to stab her.

Schmitt alleged that after the stabbing, Gomez dressed her in a cloth around her face, safety goggles, gloves and boots from the shed of the Ashby Avenue house.

BPD Officer Jesse Grant also testified at the hearing that Inman’s body was later found about 10 p.m. Jan. 6 at the same residence.

According to Schmitt, Gomez then drove them toward the UC Berkeley co-op Stebbins, where they parked at the top of Ridge Road and got out. Gomez walked toward Stebbins faster than Schmitt could keep up, allowing her to stop a car in the middle of the street and get help from two women in a car who then called the police.

Gomez is scheduled to reappear before the court Nov. 27. Desautels said at the hearing that Gomez will continue to be held without bail.

Staff writer Jared Brewer also contributed to this report.

Kate Tinney is the lead crime and courts reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @K_Tinney.