Trial for 2018 Murder Begins Next Monday

File Photo According to Alameda County court records, the jury trial for the 2018 murder of an Alameda restaurant owner will begin next week. Pictured: Suspects Paul Paez (top) and Donte Holloway (bottom).

Trial for 2018 Murder Begins Next Monday

According to Alameda County Superior Court records, the jury trial for the murder of 61-year-old restaurant owner Cindy Le will begin Monday, Dec. 12.

The two alleged defendants are Paul Paez and Donte Holloway, both of Oakland. Their trial will be held at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy.

Both men will use public defenders for representation. Holloway, 43, will be defended by attorney Darryl Stallworth. Paez, who will be 43 on Tuesday, Dec. 13, will be defended by attorneys Jane Brown and Amy Lynn Yellen, according to court records. The case will be prosecuted by Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Cathryn Dalton.

Both men have been at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since they were arrested for Le’s murder on August 20, 2018 (“West End Murder Suspects Nabbed,” August 28, 2018; Paez and Holloway attempted to rob Le outside of her Alameda restaurant Pho Anh Dao, located at 1919 Webster St., on April 6, 2018, around 11 p.m. (“Robbery Escalates into Year’s First Homicide,” April 17, 2018;

According to Alameda County court records, Alameda Police Department (APD) Detective Kody Burns said Paez followed Le and another family member from a restaurant she owned in Oakland to the Alameda restaurant in a Nissan Maxima. Paez approached Le and tried to take her purse, but she resisted. Paez then punched Le in the face, causing her to fall and strike her head on the concrete sidewalk.

In the ensuing struggle, Le’s daughter’s boyfriend tried to come to her aid. That’s when Holloway assaulted both the boyfriend and Le with a metal pipe, according to reports. Holloway admitted to police to being at the scene and swinging the metal pipe. Le passed away four days later. The ordeal was caught on the restaurant’s surveillance video. APD also used surveillance video from Oakland businesses Bare Knuckle Pizza and Mad Oak and spoke to witnesses to make the arrests.

Both men were charged with murder, special circumstance murder (murder during the course of a robbery), attempted second-degree robbery and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. They pleaded not guilty of all the charges at a hearing in October 2018.

The two men were also initially charged with special circumstance murder (murder by lying in wait), but that was stricken.

Both men have prior robbery convictions.