June 15, 2023
NEWSONE PRESS RELEASE - NEWSONE PRESS RELEASE - NEWSONE PRESS RELEASE
Source: screenshot / Nicole Eason
On Oct. 17, officers Ashton Montalvo and Deangelo Boone were charged with arson and mutilation of human remains after they allegedly moved the body of Mykaella Sharlman, 25, to a dumpster and then set the dumpster on fire.
Both officers pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the medical examiner, Sharlman died earlier that day from a fentanyl overdose. Police say the two officers found her body in an abandoned apartment, but instead of reporting it, they moved the body blocks away to a dumper and lit it on fight with lighter fluid.
On June 6, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case citing its connection to Antioch Police officers accused of using racial slurs, making racist jokes, and sharing racist memes in text threads.
On June 6th, 2023, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office determined the prosecution of The People of the State of California vs. Ashton Montalvo and Deangelo Boone could not proceed to trial and moved to dismiss the case.
A dismissal at this juncture allows the District Attorney’s Office to refile criminal charges against Montalvo and Boone and reinitiate legal action if new evidence is developed.
In this case, the prosecution of Montalvo and Boone for mutilation of human remains and arson on October 17, 2022, relied heavily on the investigative work of Antioch Police Officers, who are associated with racist text communications.
After thoroughly reviewing the officers’ role in this case, applying relevant legal principles, and considering ethical responsibilities, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office no longer has confidence in the integrity of this prosecution.
Our office extends our deepest sympathies to the family of Mykaella Sharlman, and we aspire to renew this prosecution if presented with the opportunity to do so.
Sharlman’s family blasted the DA’s decision to drop the charges, calling the move “unacceptable” and telling NBC News that her family was “devastated” after learning the detective who helped solve the case was a part of the racist text scandal that plagued the department.
“This scandal came out after my sister’s death,” Sharlman’s sister, Nicole Eason, told NBC News. “It shouldn’t have had any bearing on the evidence.”
Eason also said her family would not stop until Mykaella Sharlman gets justice.
“We’re getting ready to lawyer up,” said Eason. “We’re getting ready to fight.”
In April, a Contra Costa County judge released the names of 17 Antioch, California, police officers who stand accused of using racial slurs, making racist jokes, and sharing racist memes in text threads over a period of two years. The list of 17 names also included five officers already under FBI investigation for alleged crimes. Judge Clare Maier declared that the list of names “doesn’t deserve protection” under the California evidence code.