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San Francisco prosecutor defends decision to not charge suspected carjackers behind wild crash


San Francisco’s top prosecutor spoke out in defense of her office Saturday after two people accused of carjacking and crashing a vehicle in dramatic fashion were released without charges.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins called the case involving suspected carjackers Kevin Nelson, 36, and Jennifer Bonham, 31, “very complex” following the pair’s arrest Tuesday after police said they drove a stolen car over the Sanchez Street stairs in the city’s Castro District.

“My office discharged this case because more investigation is required to properly charge this case,” Ms. Jenkins said, while also acknowledging how interested the public is in the incident. 

“Importantly, this case was discharged, not dismissed, so that SFPD has more time to conduct this investigation and appropriate charges may be filed later. Had we dismissed the case, that would not be possible.”

The top prosecutor said one of the challenges with moving the case forward was “witness unavailability.”

She also took aim at media outlets that framed the decision to not pursue charges against Mr. Nelson and Ms. Bonham as equivalent to the city dismissing the case, which would mean the suspects would no longer be legally liable for the incident. 

The district attorney’s office said Friday that the duo wouldn’t face charges at this time. San Francisco jail records didn’t show either of the suspects in custody as of Friday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

“We are doing everything in our power to uncover the truth and ensure there is accountability and consequences in this case, as we do in all cases,” Ms. Jenkins said. 

Police responded to the scene of the crash around 7:20 p.m. on July 22 near the intersection of 19th and Sanchez streets.

Officers arrived to find an overturned white sedan surrounded by debris from the wreckage. 

Video captured the incident of the car driving over the stairs’ railing and flipping as it tumbled onto the street below.

A man who said he owned the wrecked car approached police at the scene and told them he was assaulted and carjacked by multiple suspects at 19th and Dolores streets.

Both Mr. Nelson and Ms. Bonham can still be charged in the incident.


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