Kevin Alvarado booking photo
Kevin Alvarado. Credit: BPD

Update: The charges against Kevin Alvarado were dismissed in March 2022 due to insufficient evidence, according to court records online.

Original story: The primary suspect in a fatal stabbing that took place in Berkeley more than a decade ago is back in local custody after fleeing to Mexico to escape prosecution for murder, authorities report.

The Border Patrol arrested 33-year-old Kevin Alvarado on July 26, authorities told Berkeleyside. The federal agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, then sent Alvarado back to Alameda County where he is now being held without bail, according to court records online.

Alvarado originally came to the attention of the Berkeley Police Department shortly after the fatal stabbing Feb. 11, 2010, in the 2100 block of Curtis Street (near Addison Street) at about 7:40 p.m.

According to court papers identifying Alvarado as a West Side Berkeley Norteño gang member, police believe Alvarado, then 22, stabbed 40-year-old Michael Mayfield in the right side of the torso, leaving Mayfield with a punctured lung and lacerated artery.

A witness told police he heard Mayfield banging on the front door of a home on Curtis Street, then saw Alvarado open the door and “make a swinging motion” outside, according to court papers. Alvarado then retreated into the residence and Mayfield, a Richmond resident, lifted up his shirt to look at his wound as the witness looked on, police wrote.

The witness also told police that Alvarado was a member of the West Side Berkeley gang.

“He believes Alvarado is one of the older gang members and has put in his time in the gang,” police wrote. The witness “believed that Alvarado is dangerous and has a lot of younger gang members under him that would carry out orders.”

Another man — identified in court papers as Robert Briggs, then 42 — reportedly chased after Mayfield and hit him in the legs with a pipe several times when he fell to the ground, according to court files.

Police also said they found evidence of blood in a sink in the residence and that someone had used bleach to clean it up.

There was no information in the court file or available from police as to what may have preceded the dispute on Curtis Street and prompted the stabbing.

Less than a week after the attack, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Alvarado with murder and Briggs with felony assault with a deadly weapon and being an accessory after the fact.

At the time, police said Kevin Alvarado was “trying to flee the country and should be considered armed and dangerous.”

The Border Patrol arrested Alvarado in late July on the homicide warrant from 2010, according to the Berkeley Police Department. As of this week, BPD did not know the circumstances surrounding Alvarado’s return to custody.

Federal authorities did not respond to several inquiries from Berkeleyside about Alvarado’s recent arrest, which took place in California.

According to jail records, Alvarado, who is a vet tech, has been in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since July 28. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland on Sept. 7.

Alvarado has one felony conviction, in Alameda County from 2007, for the possession of a concealed firearm. He was sentenced to probation in that case.

Briggs was ultimately convicted, as part of a plea deal in 2011, of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon for his role in Mayfield’s death. He was placed on probation for five years but later successfully petitioned for early termination, according to his court file. Briggs spent 41 days in jail, according to court papers.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...