Posted by on March 14, 2018
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Categories: Bay Area

(by Jeff Shuttleworth) – An ex-convict who was already awaiting trial for a series of East Bay sexual assaults dating back to 2005 has now been charged with murder for the fatal shooting of a dental student at her apartment in Albany three years ago, authorities said.

Keith Asberry, 33, of Antioch, was charged last Thursday with killing Randhir Kaur, 37, a student at the University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry who was found dead inside her apartment in the 1000 block of Kains Avenue on March 8, 2015.

Dental school officials said Kaur was enrolled in the International Dentist Program and was scheduled to graduate in June 2016.

In addition to murder, Asberry faces three special circumstances allegations that could result in the death penalty: the murder of Kaur during a robbery, during a rape, and during a burglary.

Prosecutors also allege that Asberry was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in Contra Costa County in May 2005.

Asberry, who is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail, was arraigned last week and is scheduled to return to court on March 28 to enter a plea.

Asberry also is scheduled to appear in court on Friday in a separate case in which he previously was charged with committing sexual assaults in El Cerrito in February 2005 and in Berkeley in May 2008.

El Cerrito police said last year that they finally were able to solve the 2005 crime because of advances in forensic science that identified Asberry as a suspect through a new DNA test.

Albany police said that at the time of Kaur’s death, they were not able to identify any suspects or a motive for the killing. Some of her personal items were found in a trash can in Richmond a few days later.

Albany police said in a statement that after an “exhaustive three-year investigation” they finally were able to identify Asberry as a suspect in Kaur’s killing.

However, they didn’t say how they identified Asberry as a suspect or disclose a motive for the slaying.

Albany police said they “would like to publicly thank the family of Randhir Kaur for their patience, understanding and support during the course of our investigation.”

On March 2, six days before Asberry was charged with murder in connection with Kaur’s death, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Yolanda Northridge issued an order barring prosecutors, defense attorneys, and Albany, Berkeley and El Cerrito police from talking about Asberry’s cases, except for factual statements about them.