Friday, August 14, 2009

Plea Deal in murder case

Suspect pleads in McKinleyville murder case
One of the four suspects accused of murdering a McKinleyville man in February has reached a plea deal and agreed to testify against the other defendants in the case.

Late Wednesday, Lukus Larry Mace, 31, of Orleans, agreed to plead guilty to one count of involuntary (V)LUNTARY)* manslaughter for his role in the Feb. 24 killing of Ezra Sanders and agreed to testify against the other three defendants in the case, according to prosecutor Ben McLaughlin.

”Mr. Mace will be testifying as a witness of the people against the remaining co-defendants,” McLaughlin said, adding that, if he follows through with his part of the deal, Mace faces up to six years in prison.

Mace's attorney, Marek Reavis, did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

...Sandra Adams testified that she met (Tracey Joleen) Williams while the two were in custody at the Humboldt County jail. Adams said that, over the span of a couple of weeks, Williams told her about the Sanders case.
”She started volunteering information,” Adams testified about her conversations with Williams. “She pretty much said that it was her idea and that she set the whole thing up.”...

...While being questioned by Neal Sanders, (Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Detective Richard) Schlesiger testified that at one point during the interview, he and (Jeffrey Alan) Burgess went outside during a break. While outside, Schlesiger testified that he asked Burgess if he shot Ezra Sanders, to which he said Burgess responded: “What if I said yes?”

After that, Schlesiger testified that he asked Burgess if he shot the .45-caliber handgun and that Burgess said he did.
Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna said, at that point, Burgess should have been read his Miranda rights. Because (Detective Troy) Garey and Schlesiger did not read Burgess his rights until later in the interview, Cissna ruled that everything in the interview that came after Burgess' admission that he shot the .45-caliber handgun be excluded from court....

* Article is reportedly not accurate. Mace pled guilty to VOLUNTARY manslaughter.

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