Exterior of Alameda County Courthouse
Jonah Jeremiah Roper was scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 27, 2023, at Wiley W. Manuel Superior Courthouse in Downtown Oakland but did not appear. He was rescheduled to appear on Sept. 28. Photo: Pete Rosos

Jonah Jeremiah Roper, 36, has been charged with murdering his mother, Maura Claire Ghizzoni, and trying to kill two more people, according to court records.

A criminal complaint against Roper named Ghizzoni as the woman he killed in a stabbing attack Saturday on Overlook Road in the Berkeley Hills. While neither city police nor court records from this case have confirmed Roper’s relationship to Ghizzoni, records from several of his previous criminal cases in Alameda County named Ghizzoni as Roper’s mother.

Roper has also gone by “Jonah Ghizonni-Roper” and “Jesus el Senor,” according to court records.

“Roper broke down the front door to (Ghizzoni’s) residence and a confrontation ensued,” according to the declaration. Roper stabbed Ghizzoni and another person, a man, several times, and while Ghizzoni was killed at the scene, the man “fled from the residence for help,” according to the declaration.

Roper chased the man to the 1000 block of Middlefield Road, a short zig-zag route accessible via The Crossways, according to the declaration against him. While there, he allegedly broke into another home by cutting into a screen in the rear yard, demanding car keys from the people inside the house and stabbing a third victim, an elderly woman, according to police and court records.

“Roper then stole keys and the vehicle from the residence and fled the scene,” according to the declaration. Officers spotted the 1998 Honda Accord leaving the scene and gave chase “for approximately 2 miles, resulting in a vehicle collision” at 9th and Gilman streets, according to the complaint and declaration.

When police interviewed Roper, he “admitted to assaulting the victims with a knife, with the intent to kill them,” according to the declaration.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged Roper with murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of burglary, robbery, evading a police officer, unlawfully driving or taking a vehicle and receiving a stolen motor vehicle, along with a slew of aggravating factors and special allegations that could lengthen his sentence if he is convicted.

Roper was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday but did not appear. Court records show he was rescheduled for Thursday morning.

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Alex N. Gecan joined Berkeleyside in 2023 as a senior reporter covering public safety. He has covered criminal justice, courts and breaking and local news for The Middletown Press, Stamford Advocate and...