For Immediate Release
EL VERANO PRIOR FELON CONVICTED OF POSSESSING FIREARM AND METHAMPHETAMINE
SANTA ROSA, CA | March 09, 2023
Following an approximately week-long trial before the Honorable Troye Shaffer, a Sonoma County jury has convicted defendant Hiramu el Kenyatta Bey (also known as Demond Battiest) 50 years old of El Verano, of all filed charges, including being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and felony possession of a loaded operable firearm while also being in possession of methamphetamine.
The investigation that led to the charges began with a commercial burglary that occurred in the city of Sonoma in June of 2021 at HomeEnergy, a renewable energy manufacturing company, during which approximately $15,000 of electronics were stolen. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detectives were able to identify 2 suspects, Henry Jamison and Carmina Salcido, who at the time were residing at the defendant’s residence in an unincorporated area of Sonoma County.
Shortly thereafter, pursuant to a search warrant, law enforcement conducted a search of the residence and Jamison and Salcido’s vehicle and located hundreds of electronic items associated with the burglary. Additionally, in Bey’s room, law enforcement located multiple rounds of ammunition and an empty firearm magazine. A search of Bey’s truck revealed a backpack that contained a loaded .380 Bersa handgun with a round in the chamber. The serial number on the firearm had been obliterated. In the center console of Bey’s vehicle, detectives located approximately 10 grams of methamphetamine, a working digital scale, and a methamphetamine smoking pipe. Bey had previously been convicted of 4 felonies, which included charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and vehicle theft with the added enhancement of committing a felony offense while released on bail. Due to Bey’s 4 prior felony convictions, he was legally not permitted to possess any firearms or ammunition.
Jamison and Salcido were convicted of possession of stolen property in separate proceedings, and Bey pled “not guilty” to possessing the firearm, ammunition, and methamphetamine.
Yesterday, after approximately 4 hours of deliberation, the Sonoma County jury found Bey guilty of the 3 felony charges. Additionally, the Jury found to be “true” several aggravating factors for purposes of sentencing, which included that Bey “engaged in violent conduct that indicate[d] a serious danger to society,” that he “was armed with a weapon during the commission of the crime,” and that “the crime involved a large quantity of contraband.” Further, the court found two additional aggravating factors, including that Bey had served a prior prison sentence and that Bey’s prior convictions as an adult [were] numerous and of increasing seriousness.
Following the verdict, the District Attorney’s Office requested Bey be remanded into custody, citing the jury’s verdict, the aggravating factors found true by the court and jury, as well as general concern for public safety. Despite the District Attorney’s request, the court did not remand Bey, and allowed him to remain out of custody with the condition that he not possess weapons. The matter was set for a sentencing hearing on April 26, 2023.
Media Spokesperson, Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell
Media Coordinator, Carrie Trevena