Fight Over Drugs Caused Murder at Homeless Camp

A missing syringe of methamphetamine led to a fight between the two transient men, according to court officials.

The murder of a homeless man at an encampment on the Concord-Pleasant Hill border was fueled by a fight over drugs, court officials say.

On the night of Wednesday, Dec. 5, James Riley, 38, accused 47-year-old Jerald Nagle of stealing a syringe of methamphetamine from Riley's girlfriend, according to Deputy district attorney Mary Knox, at an encampment by the Interstate 680 ramp on Concord Avenue.

Riley attacked Nagle with a knife and then proceeded to strangle him with what Riley described as a "judo hold," said Knox, as reported by the Contra Costa Times. Nagle died from strangulation, according to the coroner's report.

Riley was arraigned Monday on charges of murder and assault with a knife. He is being jailed with bail set at $1 million, and will return for a plea hearing on Dec. 20.



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