Two witnesses against murder suspect Brian John Lieteritz Jr. were granted immunity from prosecution for their testimony about the events of Aug. 9, and then proceeded to offer contradicting accounts of the events that led to Dylon Liakos being stabbed to death outside Leiteritz’s home in McKinleyville.

On Tuesday Judge Marilyn Miles, at the request of Deputy District Attorney Steven Steward, granted immunity to witnesses Terrance Ford, who drove Liakos to Leiteritz’s home; and Alicia Rose, Leiteritz’s former girlfriend, who may or may not have sent Liakos to retrieve personal property from the house on Boss Road.


Rose and Ford were both arrested for contempt of court after Rose didn’t show up to testify Monday and Ford didn’t return for a second day of testimony Tuesday. Both took the stand on Tuesday afternoon, each with a different version of events.

One of the revelations Tuesday was that Liakos had a potentially toxic level of methamphetamine in his system when he was killed.

Also, Leiteritz and Liakos were not strangers. About a week before the stabbing, Leiteritz punched Liakos in the eye during a convoluted incident at the Boss Road house.

Rose testified she had stayed at Lieteritz’s house for a couple of nights (she wasn’t asked whether they slept together) even though she was romantically involved with Liakos. For some reason Leiteritz’s ex-wife was also there. The two woman argued and Rose called for Liakos to come and pick her up.

Rose said she was in Leiteritz’s bedroom when Liakos arrived, and in the bedroom “Brian head-butted Dylon.”

Then, she said, they went outside to leave and Liakos and Leiteritz were apparently having a normal conversation when Leiteritz hit Liakos in the eye. Liakos had a black eye at the time he was killed.

Steward asked Rose whether Leiteritz and Liakos were evenly matched.

“Absolutely not,” Rose said. “Dylon’s not a fighter, never ever in his life.”

She described Liakos as a “gentle giant” who would never approach anyone aggressively.

She said that’s not the case with Leiteritz. She also said Leiteritz “drinks constantly.”

As to the events of Aug. 9, Rose agreed Ford drove her and Liakos to Leiteritz’s house. She knocked on the door and rang the bell but there was no answer. She was suspicious because there had been “numerous people” staying at the house yet there were no sounds from inside. Also, Leiteritz’s work vehicle was parked outside with the windows down, though it was raining.

Getting no response, the three of them left. They ended up at Denny’s restaurant, where Rose, and another woman who joined the group at some point, went in to get take-out food. She said she asked Ford and Liakos whether they wanted some dinner and they said no.

Here is where the stories begin to clash: Rose says Liakos and Ford left to “get a can of chew.” Ford says Rose asked him to take Liakos back to Leiteritz’s house, and Liakos was intent on being “Prince Charming” and planned to get Rose’s property from Leiteritz.

“Did you suspect Dylon might have gone back to Boss Road to get your things?” prosecutor Steward asked.

“Absolutely not.”

Rose said Ford returned to Denny’s about 30 minutes later without Liakos.

Ford seemed agitated, she said, “but no more than he always is.”

When she asked where Liakos was, Ford told her “Don’t worry about it.”

Strangely, she accepted that explanation and had Ford take her back to her grandfather’s house in Arcata. She went to sleep.

Ford, however, testified he told Rose that Liakos had been hurt and was on his way to the hospital and she needed go there.

According to Rose, she found out Liakos was dead when Ford broke into her grandfather’s house early the next morning.

“What did he tell you?’ Steward asked.

“Brian killed him,” Rose said.

Leiteritz and Rose had a chaotic relationship, with her moving in and out of his house several times. Leiteritz eventually obtained a restraining order against Rose, claiming she stalked, threatened and harassed him.

Under cross-examination Tuesday by defense attorney Michael Robinson, Rose said she might have called Leiteritz five times during the day of the killing. Robinson said phone records show 50 to 100 cellphone exchanges between the two.

Rose said the property at Leiteritz’s home included clothing, shoes, paperwork, makeup and other personal items.

During cross-examination of Ford, Robinson brought up his numerous felony convictions for theft and drug possession. One of the convictions was for possessing methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm. In earlier testimony Ford insisted he had never owned a gun.

Judge Marilyn Miles appointed attorneys to advise both Ford and Rose. On Tuesday Deputy Conflict Counsel Meagan O’Connell, representing Ford, said the subpoena ordering Ford to court was invalid.

It was sent by e-mail instead of served personally. It was a California subpoena but Ford lives in Oregon. Finally, it was addressed to Brian Leiteritz instead of Ford.

Miles agreed and told Steward that Ford needed to be immediately served with a valid subpoena. He was, while sitting in the courtroom jury box in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. He was to be released from jail Tuesday night with an order to be back at 9:15 this morning.

Rose remains in custody and will continue to be questioned this morning.

Ford and Rose were granted so-called “use immunity,” which means statements they make during the preliminary hearing can’t be used against them if they are prosecuted. They were not granted “transactional” immunity, which would guarantee they can’t be prosecuted at all.