Man arrested in Berkeley charged with murder of 17-year-old girl

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A Pittsburg, California, man who was arrested last week by Berkeley police officers for unlawful possession of a firearm was charged with murder Monday.

Darion Brown, 21, was arrested June 8 outside a gas station in North Berkeley, according to Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel. BPD had initially received a call about 10 a.m. that Brown was being belligerent to other customers and acting erratically.

According to Frankel, Brown was compliant with the officers who responded to the call and agreed to a mental health evaluation as well as a search into his backpack. Inside his bag, officers found an unloaded pistol that had been reported stolen.

Brown was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of stolen property. According to court documents, he was not allowed to have a gun because he was convicted for felony assault with a firearm in a juvenile court in Contra Costa County in May 2011.

The Oakland Police Department arrested Brown the next day on suspicion of the murder of Alexis Leann Ervin, 17, who was found dead earlier the day Brown was arrested in Berkeley, outside the Rainbow Recreation Center in Oakland. OPD believes Brown used the stolen gun to allegedly kill Ervin.

According to the Mercury News, Oakland police Sgt. Michael Cardoza said Ervin and Brown were in a relationship but that police do not have a motive for why she was killed.

Brown was also charged with unlawful firearm activity because under California law, a person who has been a ward of the juvenile court is not allowed to be in possession of a firearm before the age of 30.

Brown has been arraigned on the charges against him and is scheduled to enter a plea July 5 at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Downtown Oakland. He is currently being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail.

Haruka Senju is an assistant news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @haruka_senju