Convicted Robbers Charged in Death of Alameda Restaurant Owner

Two convicted robbers have been charged with special circumstances murder for the death of the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant in Alameda during an attempted robbery in April, prosecutors said.

Paul Paez, 38, and Donte Holloway, both of Oakland, were arraigned on Wednesday for the death of 61-year-old Cindy Le and are scheduled to return to court Thursday to be assigned attorneys and possibly enter pleas.

Alameda police said Le was attacked outside the Pho Anh Dao restaurant at 1919 Webster St. at about 11 p.m. on April 6 and died from her injuries on April 10.

Alameda police Officer Koby Burns wrote in a probable cause statement that surveillance camera footage shows Paez followed Le from a restaurant she owned in Oakland to her restaurant in Alameda.

Burns said that when Paez arrived in Alameda he tried to take Le's purse from her and when she resisted he punched her in the face, causing her to fall and strike her head on the concrete sidewalk.

Burns said Holloway also participated in the attempted robbery and struck Le and her daughter's boyfriend, who was trying to defend Le, in the head with a metal pipe.

The officer wrote that Holloway "admitted to being at the scene and swinging the metal pipe at unknown individuals."

In addition to murder, Paez and Holloway are charged with two special circumstance clauses: murder by lying in wait and murder during the course of a robbery.

The two men also are charged with attempted second-degree robbery and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.

Prosecutors allege that Paez has a prior conviction for second-degree robbery and Hollowy has three prior convictions: two for second-degree robbery and one for being an accessory after the fact.

Both men are being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail.

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