BERKELEY, CA — Two women were sentenced today to three years in state prison for brutally assaulting another woman in Berkeley last year and then leaving her in the middle of a busy street, where she was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Raine Wooten, 33, and Mamie Purnell, 40, both of Berkeley, were charged with attempted murder for the incident on Dec. 18, 2017, in which police found the victim unresponsive in the middle of the street with what appeared to be life-threatening injuries, although ultimately she survived.
But on Oct. 23 the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office agreed to a deal in which Wooten, a waitress, and Purnell, a housewife, were allowed to plead no contest to the lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon and get 3-year prison terms. They would have faced sentences of between 5 and 9 years if they’d been convicted of attempted murder.
Berkeley police Officer Andres Bejarano wrote in a probable cause statement that officers who responded to a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian in the 3100 block of San Pablo Avenue, near Ashby Avenue, at about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2017, found the victim unresponsive in the middle of the street.
The woman was rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where she had surgery and initially was listed in critical condition.
Bejarano said investigators reviewed surveillance video prior to the collision and saw that the pedestrian had been “severely beaten by two females and left lying in the middle of San Pablo Avenue.”
He said Wooten pulled the pedestrian down into the street then repeatedly punched her in the head. Bejarano wrote that at the same time Purnell was kicking the woman over and over in the ribs until she appeared to be unconscious.
He said, “Purnell then proceeded to kick and stomp on the victim’s head prior to leaving the victim in the street unconscious.”
Police said that moments later a vehicle traveling northbound on San Pablo Avenue struck the victim and didn’t stop.
Bejarano said when officers detained Wooten at 1922 Fairview Street in Berkeley the morning after the assault they found her with Purnell, who matched the description of the other assailant in the crime, and both women were arrested.
Bejarano wrote that Wooten confessed to physically assaulting the victim and watching her get hit by a truck.
He said Wooten also said that Purnell participated in the assault and was the one who kicked the victim in the head.
Bejarano wrote that Wooten has “an extensive criminal history with numerous prior arrests for property crimes” and Purnell was on felony bail for a recent case in which she was charged with the illegal use of tear gas and vandalism.
He said Purnell has numerous prior arrests for felony assault, auto theft and DUI.
Bejarano said when officers searched Purnell’s home they found the clothing she wore the night of the attack along with three firearms in her bedroom.