A 61-year-old San Jose woman, who made national news in 1999 for a sex change surgery that got her fired from a Sacramento school, was charged Tuesday with three counts of murder for the shooting and stabbing deaths of a lesbian couple and their teenage son.
The historical link to the suspect's past was first reported by NBC Bay Area, and the victims' relationship was first reported by Berkeleyside.
Dana Rivers, who's being held without bail, was charged with three counts of murder as well as arson of an inhabited structure or property and possession of metal knuckles. Rivers was born David Warfield. Warfied taught school in Sacramento in the late 1990s. When Warfield returned to school as a woman after gender reassignment surgery, she was fired for discussing the change with students.
Police have not revealed the motive for the triple homicide of Toto "Benny" M. Diambu, Charlotte Kuulei Reed and Patricia A. Wright. Berkeleyside reported that Benny, a recent Berkeley High School graduate, was the adopted son from West Africa, and the two women were romantic partners.
There has been no evidence provided that Rivers' gender reassignment surgery played a role in their deaths.
The only public charges filed Tuesday by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office alleged that Rivers shot all three of her victims and stabbed two of them.
Records show Rivers has been licensed as a security guard and licensed to carry a weapon. The documents also allege special circumstances that could lead to a life sentence without parole or the death penalty.
Oakland police officer Hector Jimenez wrote in a probable cause statements that officers who went to a residence in the 9400 block of Dunbar Drive at 12:21 a.m. on Friday to investigate a report of gunshots found a man, identified in court documents as Diambu, lying in front of the residence suffering from an apparent stab wound.
Jimenez said that as the officers were providing aid to Diambu they heard a loud bang coming from the garage and then saw Rivers walking out of the residence covered in blood.
Rivers was detained and when they searched her they found ammunition in her pocket along with knives, according to Jimenez.
As officers were detaining Rivers she began making spontaneous statements about her involvement in the murders, Jimenez said.
When officers continued search the residence they found the other two victims, identified in court documents as Reed and Wright, inside of the residence suffering from both apparent gunshot wounds and stab wounds, according to Jimenez. Berkleyside reported that the women were romantic partners, and Wright's son, bBenny
The Oakland Fire Department arrived on the scene to try to render aid to the victims but they succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene, Jimenez said.
Rivers is charged with clauses alleging that she discharged a firearm to kill all three victims. The arson count alleges that Rivers willfully, unlawfully and maliciously set fire the residence.
Firefighters quickly controlled the blaze.