East Bay man’s murder and rape trials were broken in two. One jury acquitted him of murder, another convicted him of rape

OAKLAND — Three months after he was acquitted of murder in a case where his lawyer blamed another man, Keith Asberry was convicted of kidnapping, robbery, rape and other felonies connected to two attacks that occurred seven years apart.

Asberry, 40, was convicted of kidnapping to commit a sex crime, kidnapping to commit robbery, forcible oral copulation, forcible rape and other charges related to a 2008 kidnapping and sexual assault of a teen, and a 2015 attack of a woman he followed into her home, prosecutors announced Monday.

Both attacks occurred in Berkeley, and involved Asberry attacking strangers, authorities said.

The guilty verdict — which carries a life sentence — came almost exactly three months after Asberry was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of Randhir Kaur, a 37-year-old UCSF dental student who was killed inside her Albany home. In that trial, Asberry’s defense attorney blamed an Antioch gang member who was found in possession of the murder weapon and was arrested later that year in connection with a different shooting.

Asberry has been in jail since 2017, when he was charged with two sexual assaults in El Cerrito. The following year he was charged with killing Kaur, in what would be a recurring theme of prosecutors adding more and more charges onto his case. By 2021, he was facing dozens of charges related to attacks on six different women. Police blamed the delay on a backlog of untested rape kits in Alameda County.

Several charges were dismissed after defense motions that alleged due process rights violations and problems with evidence handling, court records show.

In a statement applauding the verdict, District Attorney Pamela Price noted the delay between the crimes and filing of charges.

“It is important to note, justice was delayed in the 2008 case because the rape kit was not tested until 2014, six years after the crime,” Price’s written statement says. “This resulted in Mr. Asberry being allowed to roam free, searching for more victims, which resulted in the attack in 2015.”

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