OAKLAND — Two men have been ordered to stand trial on charges of murdering 75-year-old Pak Ho during a March 2021 robbery in Oakland, a crime that added to concern over violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Teaunte Bailey, 27, and Demetrius Britton, 57, also known as Elbert Britton, were ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing before Judge Scott Patton. Both men have pleaded not guilty and a trial date has not yet been set.
Ho, a widower who lived in the neighborhood where he was attacked, was out for a daily walk around 7 a.m. on March 9, 2021, when he was beaten. Authorities allege Bailey punched Ho, knocking him to the ground, and that Britton acted as a getaway driver.
Britton’s attorney, David Briggs, argued there wasn’t enough evidence to issue a holding order against his client. The lone eyewitness to the attack who testified said she couldn’t identity either man but gave a very general description, saying that both men were Black and one appeared to be in his 50s, while the other appeared much younger.
Ho’s credit card was found in Britton’s possession, according to Oakland police testimony. He also allegedly identified himself in a gas station surveillance video that showed him and Bailey hanging out the same day as the homicide.
A woman who witnessed the attack, Bianca Posada, testified that she rushed to help Ho but didn’t get a look at either suspect’s face. Ho died at a hospital from his injuries two days after the attack.
“He was lying on the ground. I could see some blood coming from where his head was and he couldn’t speak,” Posada testified. “His eyes were open but he wasn’t talking. He was just laying there.”
Additionally, Bailey was ordered to stand trial on charges of a home invasion robbery targeting a 72-year-old Oakland man three weeks earlier. The victim in that case testified that the robber went through a dresser in his home and took a packet of red envelopes that are known as hóngbāo, used as traditional gifts during Chinese New Year. He said the robber demanded money but he pretended not to understand English.
Bailey was wearing a GPS ankle monitor during both incidents, thanks to a court order in San Francisco where a judge released him in a pending robbery case. He had been arrested in April 2020 after a vehicle pursuit by San Francisco police that ended with a crash near the Treasure Island exit on the Bay Bridge. He was released Feb. 8, 2021, just a month before Ho was killed.
The attack came amid nationwide concerns over anti-Asian violence, including hate crimes that stemmed from misplaced blame over the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither Bailey nor Britton are charged with targeting Ho due to his race but the crime was cited by local activists as an example of violence affecting Asian Americans. A month before Ho was killed, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced the formation of a task force to combat crimes targeting the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Bailey was arrested the same day as the attack on Ho, after he allegedly commandeered a woman’s car and attempted to drive away from pursuing officers. The woman testified Bailey approached her in a McDonald’s drive-thru, ordered her to drive away from police, and that she had never met or seen him before.
Britton was arrested later that week, after police located him at a home on the 3700 block of Martin Luther King Way, surrounded the residence, and ordered him to come outside.