Suspect in Murder of Locals Won’t Testify

Suspect in Murder of Locals Won’t Testify


An Oakland man accused of two counts of murder refused to testify at his own court trial last Wednesday, May 4.

Diantay Powell, is accused of killing two girls, Bobbie Sartain and Rachel Gerstel, on Nov. 25, 2012, on Minna Avenue near Brookdale Park in Oakland. Sartain and Gerstel were 16 and 15 years old, respectively, at the time of their deaths. 

Powell, now 21, indicated through his attorney, Darryl Stallworth, that he was willing to testify at his trial. However, when Stallworth tried to call Powell to the witness stand, Powell declined. Stallworth then rested his case. 

Stallworth asked jurors to rule Powell be charged with voluntary manslaughter instead of first-degree murder because Powell acted rashly and in the heat of passion at the time.

The two girls grew up and met in Alameda. According to court reports, Sartain was involved in a romantic relationship with Powell and Gerstel was involved with Powell’s friend and co-defendant Antonio Edwards. The four and another male, Quincy Carter, were in a vehicle at the time of the incident. Carter testified that Powell asked the girls to leave, but they refused and an argument ensued. Sartain slapped Powell and Powell knocked her down. Gerstel tried to intervene, that is when Powell shot her. He then shot Sartain. 

The prosecution rested its case on Monday, May 9.