Antioch police text scandal results in dropped criminal charges

 June 19, 2023

Charges against Ashton Montalvo and Deangelo Boone for burning a Black woman's body have been dropped due to corrupt and racist law enforcement in Antioch, California.

The two men are free because of an Antioch police text scandal that resulted in suspensions for almost half the department.

Montalvo and Boone were accused of throwing 25-year-old Mykaella Elizabeth Sharlman's body in the trash and setting it on fire last October. The charges were dropped because several police officers that worked the case were involved in the aforementioned scandal.

"The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office said the prosecution 'relied heavily' on the investigative work of police officers associated with racist texts," reported Fox News.

"After thoroughly reviewing the officers’ role in this case, applying relevant legal principles and considering ethical responsibilities, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office no longer has confidence in the integrity of this prosecution," the DA's office said in a statement.

"Our office extends our deepest sympathies to the family of Mykaella Sharlman, and we aspire to renew this prosecution if presented with the opportunity to do so," the D.A.'s office added.

"Sharlman died from a fentanyl overdose in mid-October 2022, according to authorities, and Montalvo and Boone allegedly found her on a walking trail on Oct. 17, 2022 and set her body on fire. They pleaded not guilty to charges of mutilation and arson," Fox News reported.

The Contra Costa D.A. and the FBI released previously redacted report that "documents some of the derogatory, homophobic and sexually explicit language and photographs shared by members of the Antioch Police Department that demonstrates their racials bias and animus towards African Americans and other people of color."

"The texts allegedly included vulgar language, rampant use of the N-word, texts and memes that referred to Black people as 'a bunch of gorillas,' threats (like 'I'll bury that n----- in my fields'), a sexually explicit image of a naked man sitting on George Floyd, among dozens of other messages," according to the 21-page report.

One of the police officers texted another, "Since we don't have video, I sometimes just say people gave me a full confession when they didn't. Gets filed easier."