Murder charges filed in death, torture of Castro Valley woman

CASTRO VALLEY (BCN) -- A Stockton man has been charged with special circumstances murder for alleging fatally stabbing a 59-year-old woman at her home in Castro Valley in unincorporated Alameda County in December and then setting the home on fire to try to destroy evidence, prosecutors said.

Luckie Dacany, 36, is charged in connection with the death of Andrea St. John, who was found dead on Dec. 13 after a suspicious fire at her home in the 1800 block of Grove Way in Castro Valley.

Alameda County sheriff's deputies said they believe St. John, who they described as a well-respected community member who lived alone, was killed sometime between the night of Dec. 12 and the morning of Dec. 13.

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The fire at her one-story home was reported at about 2:45 a.m. on Dec. 13 and deputies arrived at the scene at 4:30 a.m. that day to investigate her death, sheriff's Deputy Rosario Robson wrote in a probable cause statement.

An autopsy determined that St. John's death was a homicide, Robson wrote.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office received information from the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office last week that Dacany "had provided information acknowledging responsibility for the homicide and provided details only the suspect and law enforcement would know," Robson wrote.

Alameda County sheriff's deputies conducted a follow-up interview with Dacany in which "additional corroborating evidence was obtained verifying his account of the homicide," Robson wrote.

In addition, Dacany fits the physical characteristics of the suspect as depicted in video surveillance that was recovered during the investigation, Robson said.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office has charged Dacany with murder, arson and three special circumstances: committing a murder during the course of a robbery, committing a murder during the course of a burglary and inflicting torture during a murder.

Authorities haven't disclosed a motive for the killing.

Sheriff's officials said St. John was a widow, a mother and a grandmother.

Dacany is still in custody in San Joaquin County and hasn't yet been transferred to Alameda County.

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