Antone Richard Aubrey IV must stand trial for the alleged murder of his sister Angel Louise Aubrey, who was shot in the head during an argument behind the Hoopa Mini-Mart in mid-February 2018.
Judge Christopher Wilson, after hearing from four witnesses during Aubrey’s preliminary hearing on Tuesday, ruled there was enough evidence to hold the 31-year-old Hoopa man to answer on charges of murder, personal use of a firearm causing death and being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison.
One eyewitness, Moses Hurley, testified he was with a group of people drinking behind the mini-mart when he saw Antone Aubrey holding a gun.
“It was broken in half,” Hurley testified under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Candace Myers. “Like it was being reloaded.”
Hurley and his friend Sophie Blake left when they saw the gun. Hurley said his back was turned when he heard Aubrey tell his sister “I’ll show you what kind of little brother I am.” Then he heard a gunshot and “I seen Angel fall.”
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Russ Clanton, Hurley acknowledged he was “very intoxicated” at the time.
Another witness, Sophie Blake, said Antone and Angel seemed to be having a normal conversation that morning, talking and laughing. She heard Angel say “You’re my little brother and I love you.”
“The conversation turned to his kids,” Blake recalled. “He was saying he loved his kids and I couldn’t really make out what she was saying. She was trying to calm him down.”
Antone told his sister “You aren’t going to talk about my kids
Blake said Antone took off his jacket and she realized he had a gun.
“It had a long barrel,” Blake said. “It was in his hand … he was pointing it at Angel.”
Blake ran to her aunt’s house and yelled for her aunt to call the cops. She heard a gunshot. Running back to the scene, she saw Angel lying on the ground on her back.
“It was very clear she was gone,” Blake said through sobs. She cried during much of her testimony.
Hoopa resident Kiai Lincoln pinned Antone Aubrey to the ground, Blake said.
Then Paul Aubrey, who happened to be in the mini-mart when the shooting occurred, walked up and grabbed the gun from Antone’s hand, tossing it away.
“I saw the expression on his face,” Blake said. “He had just taken the gun from his brother and that was his sister lying there.”
She said Paul Aubrey left, crying.
Sheriff’s Investigator Jennifer Turner testified she interviewed witness Henry Alameda three days after the killing, and Alameda told her he saw Antone that day with a weapon that appeared to be a sawed-off shotgun.
“He said it was a gun he had seen Antone with for the last two years,” Turner said.
She also interviewed Love Arbo, the woman who called 911. Arbo’s house is about 100 yards from the shooting scene. Arbo told the investigator that after Angel was shot, she yelled “Antone, you killed her.”
He reportedly responded by telling her to shut up.
Alameda, called as a witness, said he couldn’t recall telling Turner he saw Antone Aubrey with a gun. He also couldn’t remember the brother and sister arguing. All he remembered was having a beer with Antone near the mini-mart, leaving to go visit a friend and hearing a shot.
“I seen that woman laying there on her back,” Alameda said. “I didn’t know he had a gun or anything.”
Turner attended the autopsy for Angel Aubrey, who was 33 and a single mother of five. The pathologist determined she died from a gunshot wound to the head.
One key prosecution witness, Linnie Muro, didn’t show up to testify. According to Blake, Muro and Angel Aubrey arrived at the scene together, and Muro had been urging Antone Aubrey to talk with his sister.
After Antone Aubrey’s arrest, his attorney expressed doubts about his mental competence. He was ruled mentally incompetent in April 2018 and sent to Napa State Hospital in August. He spent about a month at the hospital before being ruled competent and returned to Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
Aubrey, who has gained a lot of weight and no longer resembles the fierce-looking man in his booking photo, sat quietly next to his lawyer during the hearing. During descriptions of the shooting, he looked down.
His arraignment on the charges is scheduled for March 20.
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