On February 19th 1976, the lead singer for Tower of Power, Rick Stevens, surrendered to police on the playgrounds here and was arrested for a triple murder. He was sentenced to life for the murders of two brothers, Andrew and Harry Austin, who, he later said, had been pressuring him over a drug debt and threatening his family. A day and a half later, police said that he killed Elliot Wickliffe, who he claimed pulled a gun on him.
Stevens was convicted of murder in the first two killings and manslaughter in the third and found eligible for the death penalty. But soon afterward California declared capital punishment unconstitutional, and he was sentenced to life.
He was paroled in 2012 after 36 years in jail and resumed performing and recording. In January 2013 Tower of Power brought him onstage at the Oakland club Yoshi’s to sing his signature song, “You’re Still a Young Man”.
Stevens died at the age of 77 due to the complications of cancer on September 5, 2017 in Antioch CA where he lived with his son.
Edenvale Elementary School
285 Azucar Street
San Jose CA 95111