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Oakland woman freed from jail while her murder case is pending, after allegations of laced meth, sexual assault, and domestic violence


OAKLAND — A 29-year-old woman has been freed from jail despite a pending murder case against her, after her lawyer accused the victim of sexual assault and argued that the lone witness was an abusive boyfriend who is now cooperating with police.

Yeimy Riera, was freed from jail during a court appearance last week and required to wear a GPS ankle monitor. Alameda County Judge Elena Condes ordered Riera’s release over the District Attorney Office’s objection, finding prosecutors failed to prove that pretrial release would constitute a public safety threat. The court order requires Riera to submit to twice-weekly drug tests and remain on house arrest while the case is pending, records show.

Riera has been charged with murdering 28-year-old Martin Millan in an Oakland motel where Riera, Millan and Riera’s boyfriend were all staying and allegedly using drugs together. The boyfriend would later tell police he was sleeping and awakened by a gunshot. When he opened his eyes, Millan was dead and Riera was holding the gun, he claimed. He told police he then took her to San Francisco out of fear she’d kill him next, according to court records.

But in a bail motion, Riera’s public defender turned that theory on its head. The motion describes the boyfriend as abusive, claiming that he forced Riera to wear a face mask so men wouldn’t check her out, and that it was he who introduced Riera to methamphetamine.

On March 21, the day of the homicide, the three checked in to the Nights Inn on West MacArthur Boulevard, where Millan gave Riera methamphetamine that was laced and made her fall asleep, the defense motion alleges. When she woke up, the attorney wrote, Millan tried to sexually assault her and she fired at him, once, with a pistol in self-defense.

The bail motion was bolstered by several support letters by Riera’s family, each of which mentions their deep religious beliefs.

“This is the first time one of my kids has been in jail. This is the hardest thing I have faced with one of them and the law. I am 65 years old and I am a believer of God and I put my trust in him and the laws of this country because I am not from here but I respect and obey the laws,” Riera’s mother wrote in one support letter. “We pray and ask God for his blessing regarding my daughter Yeimy and for her kids.”

Authorities say they learned of the homicide after the boyfriend contacted police, and by then Millan had been dead for hours. When they arrested Riera, they allege that she confessed to causing Millan’s death but added that he’d poisoned and “touched” her, according to court records.

Riera is scheduled to enter a plea on May 31, court records show.

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