The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office recently charged 46-year-old Mark Navone with charges including murder, mayhem, and five counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Why?
He threw bricks and concrete at cars on Highway 242 several times. One particularly serious incident occurred in April 2020, where Navone killed a 63-year-old woman with a brick while she was driving with her 20-year-old grandson.
In October of that year, Navone reportedly threw concrete through a man’s window. On December 23, 2020, a woman fell victim to Navone’s criminal acts and had to get reconstructive surgery after he allegedly threw a rock through her windshield. The woman was partially blinded and suffered a fractured skull.
On January 27 of this year, California Highway Patrol officers arrested the suspect as he walked alongside Highway 242, near the Port Chicago Highway. Navone’s backpack contained rocks and bricks that looked similar to the ones used in the attacks described above.
Most of the rocks and bricks that were thrown at the vehicles on Highway 242 missed, luckily. However, much damage has been done in the instances where rocks, bricks, and concrete chunks struck moving vehicles. One person was killed, another seriously injured, and many more traumatized. As a result, the police have charged Navone with several crimes, including mayhem, murder, and assault with a deadly weapon, which we explore below.
Murder Charges in California
Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought. Malice is broken down as such:
- Express malice: When there is manifested a deliberate intention to unlawfully take away the life of a fellow creature.
- Implied malice: When no considerable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.
In this case, Navone’s actions may be considered implied because his actions show a lack of heart. Maybe he didn’t deliberately intend to kill the 63-year-old woman or partially blind the other woman, but throwing bricks and rocks demonstrates a depraved heart, nonetheless.
First vs. Second-Degree Murder in California
Did you know that California is one of 27 states with the death penalty? Offenses like first-degree murder are punishable by death, life without parole, or at least 25 years in prison in CA. While Navone’s offenses may not constitute first-degree murder, he is looking at serious charges, regardless.
To better understand the differences between the degrees of murder, take a look below:
- First-degree murder: Key elements of this crime include willfulness, premeditation, and deliberation. As such, a person could get charged with first-degree murder if they planned the killing and committed it willfully and deliberately.
- Second-degree murder: All other murders are second-degree murder, punishable by 15 years to life in prison.
California Mayhem Statute
Navone is also charged with Mayhem, punishable by 2, 4, or 8 years in prison. Mayhem occurs when a person unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges in California
Any person who commits an assault with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm will face $10,000 fi8nes and 2 to 4 years in state prison or up to 1 year in jail. In Navone’s case, the bricks, rocks, and concrete that were thrown are considered deadly weapons.
The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed defends clients who are facing criminal charges. If you are in this position, reach out to us at (510) 907-6600 to learn how we can help you.