Mark Navone, Contra Costa, California man sentenced to 22 years jail after pleading no contest to rock and brick throwing along East Bay freeways that killed one woman and blinded another amid countless attacks from overpasses.
An East Bay, California man was on Friday sentenced to 22 years jail after pleading no contest to a number of charges related to throwing bricks at cars along freeways, including two episodes which led to one passenger being killed after a rock striking her in the chest and another blinded after a brick crashed through the driver’s windshield and blinding her.
Mark Lawrence Navone, 47, of Contra Costa, was sentenced for throwing rocks and bricks onto highway 4 in several incidents earlier this year. His actions resulted in the death of a 63-year-old grandmother from Antioch and blinded a 37-year-old delivery nurse from Concord, according to prosecutors.
California Highway Patrol officers arrested Navone on April 2 and prosecutors charged him with numerous felonies.
Navone was charged last year with murdering 63-year-old Margarita Ruiz, of Antioch, who was struck by a brick as she rode in a vehicle on April 10, 2020, with her three grandchildren. Ruiz was struck in the chest by a brick and killed while her 20-year-old grandson drove northbound at around 9:30 p.m. Her grandson pulled over and called 911, but she died a short time later on the shoulder of the highway.
Navone was also charged with mayhem for allegedly throwing a brick at a driver who was partially blinded and suffered a fractured skull when a brick came through her windshield and struck a mother of two in the head in December 2020, as she was driving to work, the mercurynews reported.
‘Nobody deserved this…’
Speaking to FOX2, the victim, Pam Burnett said, ‘nobody deserved it, nobody should have to go through this. There is absolutely no purpose to this.
Of note, the episode along an East Bay freeway, which involved a rock being thrown from an overpass, happened two days before Christmas.
Prosecutors also filed charges of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with four other brick- or rock-throwing attacks, court records show. All told, there were 40 incidents of rocks or bricks being thrown at cars from September 2019 to January 2021, authorities said. In many of the incidents, the projectile didn’t hit a vehicle.
Navone was arrested in January 2021 as he walked alongside Highway 242 near the Port Chicago Highway, carrying a backpack with large rocks and bricks that appeared similar to those used in the attacks, authorities said at the time.
The plea deal was reached as Navone was preparing to go before a jury at the AF Bray Courthouse in Martinez. Not immediately clear is what led to the campaign to target innocent drivers.