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.
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.
of the revelations Tuesday was that Liakos had a potentially toxic
level of methamphetamine in his system when he was killed.
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.
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.
said she was in Leiteritz’s bedroom when Liakos arrived, and in the
bedroom “Brian head-butted Dylon.”
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.
asked Rose whether Leiteritz and Liakos were evenly matched.
not,” Rose said. “Dylon’s not a fighter, never ever in his
described Liakos as a “gentle giant” who would never approach
said that’s not the case with Leiteritz. She also said Leiteritz
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.
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.
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.
you suspect Dylon might have gone back to Boss Road to get your
things?” prosecutor Steward asked.
said Ford returned to Denny’s about 30 minutes later without
seemed agitated, she said, “but no more than he always is.”
she asked where Liakos was, Ford told her “Don’t worry about it.”
she accepted that explanation and had Ford take her back to her
grandfather’s house in Arcata. She went to sleep.
however, testified he told Rose that Liakos had been hurt and was on
his way to the hospital and she needed go there.
to Rose, she found out Liakos was dead when Ford broke into her
grandfather’s house early the next morning.
did he tell you?’ Steward asked.
killed him,” Rose said.
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
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.
said the property at Leiteritz’s home included clothing, shoes,
paperwork, makeup and other personal items.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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