ORINDA, Calif. -- A spokesman for the Contra Costa District Attorney's office explained Tuesday what happened in the case against five people who were arrested in connection to the murders that happened Halloween night in Orinda.
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"Yesterday, the sheriff's office came over to present their case to us for filing decision so our team of prosecutors met with them for many hours to review the evidence we had in our possession. But given the situation, we were not able to file charges at this time," explained spokesperson Scott Alonso.
We asked why the sheriff's office didn't present the evidence to the DA before making the arrests.
"I can't get into that with you because it is ongoing," Alonso said.
Five people were killed Halloween night during a party in a rented Airbnb home in Orinda. Prosecutors called the victim's relatives to let them know these arrests would not stand.
"It's a really complex case. We want to bring justice for the victims. We have been in contact with them. We want to make sure we can bring this to a successful close and ultimately file charges, if we can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt," Alonso said.
All but one of the five were released Monday. A fifth man is still in jail on a separate charge.
Alonso also explained that charges could still be filed at a later time.
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"The statute of limitation for murder - there is no time limit - so we can still file charges at a later time. That's the reality here, the investigation is still active and ongoing and folks can still be charged if more evidence came to light," he said.
The case made even more sensitive because of the arrests and releases.
Attorney John Burris represents three of the victims families.
"You arrested these people and gave everyone the impression that they had enough evidence to convict them for murders but hell no they couldn't even last two days."
The Sheriff's office says it used what's called Ramey Warrants to make the arrests.
Former San Francisco Chief Assistant District Attorney Russ Giuntini.
"It's an arrest warrant. Police can arrest a suspect based on probable cause listed on an affidavit for a Ramey Warrant."
Then the arresting agency turns the case over to the DA.
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But prosecutors need much more than probable cause to make a case stick in court.
"When the DA gets the case they have to look at what credible evidence they have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. And that's where the rub is."
Meantime, the sheriff's office says it stands by its investigation, adding that, "the persons arrested will ultimately be held to account."
The Orinda City Council is set to vote Tuesday night on temporarily banning short term rentals, like Airbnb rentals, until they can finalize a permanent ordinance.
DA spokesperson discusses decision not to file charges in Orinda Airbnb shooting
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