Alleged murder victim Dylon Thomas Liakos was stabbed in the back, and closer to the street than to suspect Brian John Leiteritz’s front door, the lead investigator in the case testified Thursday.
Sheriff’s investigator Scott Hicks, under questioning by Deputy District Steven Steward, said the wound that killed Liakos was to his upper left back, and the weapon “entered the chest and entered both sides of the aorta and the lung.”
“What was the angle?” Steward asked.
“(The pathologist who performed the autopsy) indicated it was a downward angle from left to right,” Hicks replied.
Leiteritz’s contention is that he was the victim of a home-invasion robbery and instinctively reacted in self-defense when he opened his front door and was struck in the head by the man standing there. But Hicks testified that in his opinion, Liakos was not near the door when he was stabbed.
“I believe that Dylon Liakos was standing near the sidewalk … within feet of the street,” Hicks said.
Also, witness Terrance Ford, who testified earlier in the preliminary hearing that he did not see Liakos being attacked, said something quite different when interviewed by Hicks.
“A male had come up behind (Liakos) and (Ford) described him being hit and Dylon falling to the ground,” the investigator said.
According to Dr. Mark Super, who performed the autopsy, Liakos “didn’t get far” after being stabbed.
“The scrapes on his knees and forehead indicated he fell without trying to catch himself,” Hicks said.
Hicks also relayed information from a California Highway Patrol officer who interviewed Leiteritz in the early morning hours of Aug. 10, shortly after the fatal stabbing. Leiteritz reportedly told the CHP officer “He hit me; I stabbed him.”
“(Leiteritz) clenched his left fist and thrust it forward as he was making that statement,” according to the CHP officer’s report.
Leiteritz, 40, called 911 shortly after midnight Aug. 10 to report there were three men outside his house and power to the house had been cut. At some point he got a kitchen knife, which he apparently was holding when someone pounded on the door and he opened it.
At one point he told the dispatcher “I’m going after them,” and the dispatcher said “You don’t need to do that.”
Defense attorney Michael Robinson has focused on the roles of witnesses Ford and Leiteritz’s former girlfriend Alicia Rose. Rose and Leiteritz had a contentious relationship, with him finally obtaining a restraining order to stop what he says was her constant threats and harassment.
Rose, Ford and Liakos were all in a car that pulled up to Leiteritz’s home earlier that night. Video surveillance shows Rose walking to the front door and knocking, then leaving when she gets no response.
Later, according to Ford, he and Liakos drove back to Leiteritz’s home, with Liakos intent on retrieving Rose’s property. Ford claims he stayed in the car. Robinson has strongly suggested Ford participated in the alleged home invasion.
As for Rose, she was at Denny’s restaurant in McKinleyville when her boyfriend Liakos was killed. Ford claims Rose asked him to take Liakos back to Leiteritz’s house. Rose says she was completely ignorant of the plan.
According to testimony today, Rose called Leiteritz approximately 120 times on Aug. 8 and 120 times on Aug. 9. She also sent him texts reading “I’m not going to stop violating the (restraining) order. It’s going to get really bad;” along with “You better start remembering who the fuck you are and who you are dealing with.”
Testimony was expected to continue this afternoon before Judge Marilyn Miles.
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