An Oakland man was sentenced to two years in prison May 12 after pleading no contest to two counts of assault, including one count of assault with a deadly weapon.
In September 2015, Berkeley Police Department arrested 21-year-old Jayne Waller on suspicion of assault, felony battery and burglary during the 2014 December protests in Berkeley. He was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for attacking a 55-year-old man with a hammer and one count of second-degree commercial burglary for robbing a RadioShack at Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way.
Waller pled no contest to the two counts of assault, one of which was amended to eliminate a bodily injury enhancement. The counts of second-degree commercial burglary were dismissed.
“Under the charges as they were filed, Jayne was facing a sentence of potentially six to eight years,” said Dan Siegel, Waller’s attorney. “So, the resolution of the case significantly reduced his risk and exposure. … It was a conclusion that he and I thought was reasonable under all the circumstances.”
According to a September 2015 BPD press release, the victim had attempted to stop a small group of demonstrators from damaging the store when Waller allegedly struck him on the head with a hammer. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment and has since recovered from his injuries, according to Siegel.
Police were able to identify Waller based on images captured by video store surveillance, which showed an individual resembling Waller burglarizing the store and striking the victim.
RadioShack incurred $6,000 in damages and lost $8,000-worth of merchandise during the incident, the release said.
In August 2015, a BPD officer arrested Waller on suspicion of an unrelated crime. Because of his physical description and his street name — obtained during an unrelated interview — the officer believed that Waller was the suspect from the December protest.
In an interview with police, Waller had confessed to hitting the victim with a hammer, according to the release.
Waller is currently being held at the San Quentin State Prison until officials decide where next to assign him.