Former Air Force Sergeant Sentenced to 41 Years in Prison for Murdering Federal Guard in Attack on Courthouse


Steven Carrillo

Steven Carrillo

Under the terms of a plea agreement, a former Air Force sergeant has been sentenced to 41 years in prison for murdering a federal prison guard and trying to murder another. Defendant Steven Carrillo, 33, pleaded guilty back in February to killing Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, in an attack on an Oakland courthouse.

“Steven Carrillo was sentenced today to 41 years in prison for murder and attempted murder in connection with the May 29, 2020, drive-by shooting at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Oakland, California,” U.S. DOJ spokesman Abraham Simmons of the Northern District of California told Law&Crime in an email.

The defense reportedly noted as a mitigating factor that Carrillo’s wife died by suicide in 2018. At least one of his late wife’s family members has blamed him for that, however. Monika Carrillo’s great-aunt expressed clear thoughts about the defendant after his charges in a similar, ongoing state case for allegedly murdering Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller in an ambush.

“He did a lot of damage to our family just by destroying my niece,” Charlotte Tolliver-Lopes told the Bay Area News Group, according to The Santa Cruz Sentinel in 2020. “It devastated my family.”

Tolliver-Lopes essentially called the defendant a coward, saying the alleged ambush was in character for him.

“Sneak up behind you — that’s the way he would behave,” she said. “I don’t think he has the guts to face you. He’s the type who would do it around the corner. He wouldn’t confront anyone dead on — a woman, yeah, he feels superior to them, but a man, no.”

Prosecutors have said that Carrillo killed Underwood in a drive-by shooting on May 29, 2020. Co-defendant Robert Alvin Justus Jr. allegedly served as the…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *