◼ Tape may shed light on Pease killing
A man charged in the February stabbing death of Eureka man Andrew Pease seems to have admitted to the killing in a recorded jail house conversation with his mother, which was played at a preliminary hearing in Humboldt County Superior Court Tuesday.
James Robert Stanko, 26, in a tortured conversation with his mother, Angela Manfredonia, the day after the killing, said it was him that killed Pease. He had been “driving around” with co-defendant John Lewis Way, 30, that night, he said. Stanko's mother asked her son if he'd killed somebody.
”It was me, man,” Stanko answered, “I don't want to f-in' talk about that.”
...Stanko and Way are charged in the Feb. 6 murder of 36-year-old Pease while he and a developmentally delayed child he was caring for were in the parking lot of Ray's Food Place on Broadway. The brutal stabbing allegedly came after a string of robberies and attempted robberies around Eureka that night. And while in court documents Stanko is alleged to be the man who repeatedly stabbed Pease, Way is also being charged with murder, as the killing happened during the commission of another felony.
Both men have pleaded not guilty and are in jail on $1 million bail. Stanko is being represented by public defender Kevin Robinson and Way is being represented by public defender David Lee.
Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Arnie Klein on Tuesday presented the people's evidence against Stanko before Judge J. Bruce Watson....
◼ Detective says Way wished he'd stopped Stanko
John Lewis Way told his wife that he wished he'd intervened before a spate of robberies he's accused of participating in ended in the murder of a Eureka man in February, according to a Eureka detective who testified he'd listened in on the call from Humboldt County jail.
Detective Todd Wilcox said the phone call occurred sometime in mid-February after Way had been arrested on suspicion of robbery and murder, along with his friend James Robert Stanko. Investigators believe it was Stanko who stabbed to death 36-year-old Andrew Pease in a supermarket parking lot on Feb. 6 after the pair went on a robbery spree that lasted less than a half hour.
Wilcox testified at the Humboldt County Superior Court preliminary hearing that Way told his wife several times that he never stabbed anyone, and also that he wished he'd stopped Stanko before anyone was hurt....
◼ Murder suspects to stand trial