Posted by on April 10, 2017
Categories: Bay Area

A 23-year-old criminal justice reform advocate has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge stemming from allegations that he fatally shot his sister’s boyfriend during an argument at her home in East Oakland last October.

In addition to being charged with murder for the death of 26-year-old Jamad Jerkins, DeAngelo Cortijo, 23, is charged with kidnapping for allegedly forcing another man to drive him away from the crime scene at

Jerkins was dating Cortijo’s sister, Patricia Cortijo, and living with her at an apartment at 2558 35th Ave. but had decided to leave and move back in with another woman who was the mother of his children, Oakland police Officer James Rowbotham wrote in a probable cause statement.

Jerkins was attempting to collect his belongings at the apartment but shortly before 10 p.m. on Oct. 24 DeAngelo Cortijo confronted him, an argument ensued and Cortijo pulled out a silver revolver and shot Jerkins in the stomach, Rowbotham said.

Jerkins was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for his gunshot wounds but was pronounced dead there the next day, according to Rowbotham.

When Cortijo fled he approached a man who happened to be sitting in his car outside the apartment, brandished his revolver, forced himself into the man’s car and threatened to shoot the man if he didn’t drive him to 2218 24th Ave. in Oakland, Rowbotham wrote.

The man told police that he tried to refuse to drive Cortijo but was afraid of being shot so he drove to 24th Avenue against his will.

Oakland police said they received information that Cortijo was in the 2200 block of 24th Avenue at about 2:51 p.m. on Oct. 25 and he eventually surrendered to police without incident about 90 minutes later.

Cortijo, who entered his not guilty plea on Friday, was an intern at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland and used his personal experiences in juvenile detention and foster care to influence foster care and juvenile justice reform bills.

He’s scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on April 26 for a pretrial hearing.