‘It’s like a nightmare that we will never wake up from’: Oakland man gets 6 years in prison for Hayward fatal car crash during 2020 civil unrest

OAKLAND — A 23-year-old man has accepted a manslaughter conviction and six-year prison term for wrecking his car while attempting to escape police during a night of looting in 2020, a crash that killed one passenger and seriously injured another.

Edwardo Moran, of Oakland, pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter in the June 1, 2020 crash that killed 19-year-old Mohammed Mustafa Ali and injured a passenger who later detailed the collision to police. Moran had been originally charged with murder, but that count was dismissed as part of the deal.

The deal was rejected by one judge, then finalized in February by Judge James Cramer, who has since died. Cramer called it an “appropriate” resolution for the “horrific and tragic event,” according to a transcript from the sentencing hearing.

“The loss of young life for stupid conduct is heart wrenching to me and that’s the only way I can describe it, reckless and stupid conduct,” Cramer said.

At the same hearing, Ali’s aunt lamented that he “had his whole life ahead of him” and that the memories of him “are not enough.”

“It’s been three year since that terrible incident that left us numb. I think my family will agree when I say that haunts us everyday,” Ali’s aunt said in court. “It’s like a nightmare that we will never wake up from.”

Moran and his surviving passenger — who suffered a broken spine — talked to police in the aftermath of the crash. The passenger said they met up for a night of “mobbing” during civil unrest that followed the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Moran said that after hitting a few East Bay stores, they happened upon a Verizon store in Hayward, but passed on it because there was evidence someone had beaten them to it, so they drove to a nearby K-Mart and ran into two police patrol cars, according to police reports.

Moran admitted that he “stepped on it” to get away from the cops and “lost them,” but also lost control of the white BMW he was driving and crashed into a concrete sign shortly thereafter, the reports say. After he was charged in September 2021, his attorney noted that one officer claimed Ali appeared to run away after the collision and sought records showing whether police had fabricated evidence.

When Moran agreed to plead no contest, the lawyer, Joseph McPeak, lauded him for “acceptance of responsibility” rather than litigating those issues or taking the case to trial.

“This case involves a very tragic and avoidable loss of human life. Mr. Ali is lost to his own friends and family forever, and nothing can bring him back to us,” McPeak wrote in court filings. “Mr. Moran knows this himself as well, as he has had ample time to reflect on this while in custody prior to his change of plea.”

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