Suspect in baseball bat slaying charg­ed with murder

A 29-year-old bartender was charged with murder Wednesday for allegedly killing a man with a baseball bat in Oakland’s Uptown district on Sunday afternoon.

Juan Espino was arraigned today in connection with the death of 42-year-old Cooky York of Oakland and is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 30 to enter a plea.

Oakland police officer Michael Jaeger wrote in a probable cause statement that Espino got into a verbal confrontation with York in the 1900 block of Telegraph Avenue, near the Fox Theater, at 4:18 p.m. on Sunday.

But Jaeger said no physical assault occurred and York walked away northbound on Telegraph Avenue.

However, Jaeger said Espino ran to the upstairs office of a nearby business, grabbed a baseball bat and ran down the street toward York, who he said was walking with his back to Espino.

Jaeger said Espino came up behind York and with two hands swung the baseball bat, striking York in the head.

York immediately collapsed and became unconscious, according to Jaeger.

York was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland and died there a short time later, Jaeger wrote.

Espino, who lives in East Oakland, was identified by witnesses as the suspect who attacked York and was arrested a short time after the attack, according to Jaeger.

Espino “provided a statement of his involvement” when investigators interviewed him, Jaeger said.