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State drops murder charges against accused killers of DA Brooke Jenkins’ relative

Brooke Jenkins recused herself due to a conflict of interest.

A bridge, a man with wings and a woman in an illustration.
Source: Illustration by Lu Chen/The Standard

The California Attorney General’s Office Friday dropped murder charges against two men accused of killing a relative of San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who had politicized the case before she was appointed.   

In a plea deal Friday, Sincere Pomar pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and Stevie Mitchell pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm. Pomar faces six years, and Mitchell seven years in prison.  

The two men were accused of gunning down Jerome Mallory—the cousin of Jenkins’ husband—in July 2020 in the Bayview as part of an ongoing gang rivalry. At the time, Jenkins was a prosecutor and reportedly walled off from the case, but she later made statements alluding to insider knowledge of the investigation. 

Before taking office, Jenkins publicly complained about her former boss Chesa Boudin’s policy of not filing additional gang charges, which experts say would have made it easier to convict the two men of murder. 

Friday’s plea deal shows that Jenkins was right about the case’s weakness without gang enhancements and raises questions about why such a feeble case was pursued in the first place, say attorneys involved in the matter.

The attorney general’s lawyer said in court that there was never enough evidence to pursue murder charges, one of the defendant’s attorneys reported. 

“I absolutely think that this was the right outcome,” Pomar’s former attorney, Yali Corea-Levy, said. “This is a case based on evidence that they had that probably wouldn’t have even been brought as a murder if it wasn’t for the parties involved.”

Convicting someone of murder on behalf of a gang is a far easier task than building a murder case without such enhancements, Corea-Levy said.

The case and its complications have followed Jenkins’ recent political rise. She initially quit her job as a prosecutor in part because of Boudin’s handling of the case. As a vocal participant in the effort to recall Boudin, she said the case would fall apart without gang charges, which Boudin had dropped. 

Three people stand on a stage.
Accompanied by her husband, Daniel Jenkins, center, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is sworn in by U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla on Jan. 11, 2023. | Source: Jana Ašenbrennerová/ The Standard

“She made this case a political thing. She campaigned when she was doing the recall thing. She campaigned on it. That shouldn’t be happening. Prosecutors should be impartial,” Mitchell’s attorney, Pam Herzig said, adding that the case was a conflict of interest because it involved a family member.

Herzig said that Jenkins’ statements about the case appear to show that she knew there wasn’t enough evidence to convict on murder without gang charges to “muddy the waters,” which is exactly why Boudin had a policy to not file gang enhancements, which are often built on vague connections to gangs. 

Three people walk through a hallway.
Pam Herzig, who represents Stevie Mitchell, walks through the San Francisco Superior Court on July 8, 2022. | Source: Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Following Jenkin’s appointment in July 2022, the case was transferred to the Attorney General’s Office to avoid a conflict of interest, even though Jenkins’ office had attempted to avoid such a move. Jenkins said her office had walled her off from the case and swore she never violated ethics rules about involving herself in the case with her relative.

“I have never breached the ethical wall in this case,” Jenkins said in a sworn declaration filed in the case. “I have never accessed any district attorney files, papers or electronic, or investigative files, and did not direct the investigation of this case in any way or attempt to influence the production of this case.” 

The DA’s Office referred all questions about the matter to the AG’s Office.

Pomar and Mitchell are set to be sentenced May 31.

This article has been edited to accurately reflect the attorneys representing each defendant.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at