APD Solves Three Cold Cases

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Eugene Rojo Protsman is serving life at the Calfornia state prison in Lancaster for a murder he committed in Southern California. He has now been given two more life sentences for a pair of 1996 murders he has confessed to committing in Alameda.

The Alameda Police Department (APD) recently wrapped up a trio of cold cases. The first came with the Aug. 16 arrest of an Oakland man on Aug. 16, in connection with a 22-month-old sexual-assault case. The assault allegedly took place on the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue.

The Alameda County District Attorney has charged 37-year-old Tywan Devon Johnson with false imprisonment, sexual battery and rape in connection with the case. He is being held at the Glenn E. Dyer Jail in Oakland. According to records at the jail, Johnson is also charged under California Penal Code 288a, lewd acts with a child under 14 years of age.

APD collected DNA evidence in 2010 and submitted that sample to the Federal Bureau of Investigations Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

The case was reopened in May when the FBI informed APD Johnsons DNA matched the 2010 sample from the alleged rape. The victim identified Johnson as the alleged perpetrator.

APD arrested Johnson at the Hayward Hall of Justice when he appeared to answer charges on an unrelated robbery charge. He is being held on a $388,000 bond.

The other two cases were solved with a confession from a man serving life in prison for a murder in Southern California. Eugene RojoProtsman struck a deal with prosecutors on Monday, pleading no contest to the murders of Manuel Garcia and Diane Ely.

Garcia was found dead on Oct. 29, 1996, in his home on Crolls Garden Court. The coroner determined he died of blunt force trauma and stab wounds. Twelve days later on Nov. 10, Ely was found beaten and stabbed to death in her home on San Jose Avenue.

With his pleas, Protsman not only avoided a death-penalty trial, but received a promise from the state that he would receive better medical treatment. According to court papers in his Southern California murder trial Protsman suffered brain damage when he fell out of a bunk bed when he was eight years old. He received a second head injury in a car accident when he was 23 years old, court papers stated.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta sentenced Protsman to life in prison without the possibly of parole for the Alameda murders.


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