Less than four months after being charged with several felonies related to a domestic violence stabbing on Hearst Avenue, a Berkeley man who was already on probation for elder abuse is now facing new elder abuse charges.
Authorities say Yarman Smith, 33, grabbed a “butcher-style knife” and threatened to kill his parents and himself in late December at the couple’s Hearst Avenue home. On Feb. 2, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Smith with two counts of felony elder abuse — his parents are in their 70s — and one count of assault with a deadly weapon, according to court papers.
Smith’s prior felony elder abuse case, for which he was convicted as part of a plea deal in 2019, landed him on probation through December 2022. In 2021, the felony case was amended and reduced to a misdemeanor. Smith also has prior felony convictions, from 2013, for pimping a minor and possession of child pornography, according to court papers. He is a convicted sex offender requiring registration, authorities said.
In this latest incident, police say Smith assaulted and threatened his parents during an argument Dec. 29, 2021, and told them “he was not going back to jail,” according to court papers. During the quarrel, police say, Smith grabbed the butcher knife and approached his 73-year-old mother as she sat on the couch. Authorities say he grabbed his mother, held the knife to her chest and threatened to kill her, his father and himself.
His mother struggled to get away but was unable to escape until his father, who is 77, managed to intervene, according to court papers.
On Feb. 3, Smith entered not-guilty pleas in the new case. In addition to the three felonies, he has also been charged with a long list of enhancements that could result in a stiffer sentence if Smith is convicted.
The 2019 incident was “notably similar” to the latest report, police wrote: In the earlier case, Smith had “brandished a knife at this parents and threatened to kill them and himself.”
According to court papers, BPD investigated seven separate elder abuse cases involving Smith and his parents between 2016 and 2019, when three of the reports came in.
“Further,” police wrote, “Yarman is currently out on bail for an assault following an incident on 10-16-21 in which Yarman stabbed his girlfriend with a knife while threatening to kill her.”
As of Wednesday, Smith remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $190,000. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing at Wiley Manuel Courthouse on March 14.
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