Felon charged with murder after metal pipe beating

A convicted felon has been charged with beating a man to death with a metal pipe near his East Oakland home last month, prosecutors said.

Warren Christopher Rodgers, 46, allegedly assaulted Ronald Coelho Jr., 50, in the intersection of 79th Avenue and Alder Street at about 5 p.m. on Dec. 13, according to a probable cause statement by Oakland police Officer Jason Andersen.

A witness told investigators that he saw Rodgers standing over an unconscious Coelho lying in the middle of the street. The witness ran to Coelho’s aid while the assailant ran to his truck. As the witness approached, Rodgers allegedly swerved toward him and then yelled, “Now what!” as he drove away, according to Andersen.

Coelho was helped back to his nearby home by a neighbor and his son, but was found dead there shortly after 10 p.m. that day. An autopsy determined he had died from blunt force trauma, Andersen said. Based on the witness description, a warrant was issued for Rodgers arrest.

He was arrested last Wednesday and booked without bail into Glen Dyer Jail where he remains in custody, according to jail records. Rodgers is charged with murder and use of a deadly weapon. He has prior convictions for drug and firearms offenses dating back to 1990, according to prosecutors.

He was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 1990, possession of a firearm by a felon in 1993 and 1999, and served a prison term for sale or transportation of marijuana in 2005, prosecutors said.