Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The seedy underbelly

Witness: Sanders' alleged killers involved in meth breaking
Witness: Sanders' alleged killers involved in meth story
Tuesday, the second day of the case's preliminary hearing, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Detective Troy Garey retook the stand, testifying about an April 9 interview with Mace. He said he'd already interviewed Mace, who was in custody for an unrelated matter, but that Mace contacted him saying he had additional information regarding Sanders' death.

Garey testified that, during the interview, Mace told him that he'd accompanied Burgess, Peredia and Williams to Sanders' trailer park in the early morning hours of Feb. 24. Garey said Mace told him that after entering the park, Peredia exited the vehicle they were riding in to dismantle a streetlight in the park, before they made their way to Sanders' trailer.

Garey said Mace told him that Burgess, who was driving, cut the lights on the truck before pulling up to Sanders' trailer, at which point he, Mace and Peredia got out of the vehicle to approach Sanders' trailer, leaving Williams in the truck as a lookout....

...Sanders' friend Ana Rooney, who also lived with Burgess and Williams, also retook the stand Tuesday, testifying about the world of methamphetamine that surrounded Sanders, and the suspects in the case.

Rooney said she moved into a house on Eureka's Lewis Avenue where she lived with Burgess and Williams from December 2008 until shortly after Sanders' death. She testified that both she and Williams sold methamphetamine at the house. Injecting, smoking and snorting methamphetamine were common occurrences there, she testified, and the house was frequently full of people coming and going, many of them looking to get high.

Rooney testified that she saw Sanders the morning before he was killed, and that he had a lot of cash on him at the time. She testified that on the morning of Feb. 23, she sold Sanders an ounce of methamphetamine for $1,400, and that he repaid her $300 she'd lent him and that he loaned her an additional $1,200 to help her pay off a drug debt.

Previously, Sanders had never bought more than $20 of methamphetamine at a time, Rooney testified, adding that Sanders told her he was buying the ounce to give to a woman who owed him money with the hope that she could sell it, repay him and also earn some extra money to provide for her children.

The morning that Sanders was shot, Rooney testified that she noticed Peredia, Mace and Williams return to the house, noticed them stripping off clothing and overheard Burgess say they had to burn what they had been wearing. Rooney said she initially thought Burgess was joking.

”I was in my room doing drugs and I wasn't too into what everyone else was doing,” Rooney said....

Prosecutor Ben McLaughlin


  1. Not that I can read the minds of criminals...

    Reading this story leaves some unanswered questions in my head. I wonder if the D.A. is thinking the same things.

    How does a 1/32 oz copping crankster part with 3 grand with money to spare?

    Why do professional con artists go to a petty addict's house and kill him?

    Is it possible that Sanders did something heinous? Is there a second victim involved... Sanders' victim?

  2. Very good question. The addition of what to them was "big money" is an interesting new facet to this case.

    It's interesting that Gallegos didn't take this case himself, he must not think it is a slam dunk.

    Ironically, he may have put his best DDA on the case. Not the most experienced, but... Will be interesting to watch.


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