Attempted Murder Trial Resumes

photo by Lauren King, Court Watch Intern
photo by Lauren King, Court Watch Intern

By Tressa Bryant and Haroutun Bejanyan

(Editor’s note: court scheduling issues this week had left all of Tuesday and part of Wednesday off, but the trial resumed Wednesday afternoon).

The trial of Liberty Landowski, Michael Reyes and Lisa Humble resumed with a witness who recognized Humble as the woman she helped to rent a motel room. The witness stated that Ms. Humble met her in the parking lot of the motel, handing her money to go rent a room for her. After the witness rented to room, she returned to Ms. Humble in the parking lot and gave her the key to the room. While in court the witness identified Ms. Humble.

The following witness to take the stand was Officer Akin who helped other officers look for the white Mustang that the defendants were known to be driving. They were unable to locate the car.

The next witness was Detective Michael Duggins who spoke with the manager at the Crowne Plaza about the room rented to Landowski. When shown a picture of Landowski, the manager was able to recognize her. Det. Duggins and his partner went to Ms. Landowski’s room and searched her room for any signs of criminal activities. As Det. Duggins and his partner were searching Ms. Landowski’s room, they got a call that Eric Lovett (originally also a defendant) had been spotted at the nearby La Quinta Inn. The two of them headed over to the La Quinta and they went to the room where Ms. Humble, Ms. Landowski, and Mr. Reyes were staying. When the officers knocked on the door Mr. Reyes answered and was ordered to get on the ground. All three defendants complied and got onto the ground, and they were arrested. Det. Duggins, as he arrested Ms. Humble, noticed a gun in her waistband, which turned out to be loaded. There was also another magazine of ammunition on the table in the hotel room. All the defendants were reported to be cooperative and none of them seemed to be under the influence of any substances.

The manager of Rite Aid was the next witness to take the stand, as Ms. Humble and Ms. Landowski were reported to have been in the Rite Aid store the afternoon of the shooting. The video footage from the store was shown as evidence. The Rite Aid manager distinctly remembers the brunette (Ms. Humble) to have two black eyes, which allowed him to recall more information about the two women on November 18.

A CSI officer testified about the evidence she gathered from the crime scene and hospital. She was unable to take pictures of the victim because he was being rushed to surgery. However, she was able to collect his boxer shorts, white socks, and cell phone for evidence. Afterwards, she helped out at the rest of the crime scene, where she went through the backpack of the victim’s wife, which was “stuffed” with many objects including several weapons, a knife, pepper spray, tear gas, and a couple bats about 18 inches long, one with a serrated end. Next the trunk of one of the cars was searched, which was found to contain an airsoft gun, receipts from different stores and restaurants, a student ID card with Ms. Landowski’s name printed on it, and three sets of keys, all related to Ms. Landowski.

Wednesday Afternoon

All parties in the Reyes, Landowski and Humble trial returned to court on Wednesday, July 22, without the presence of the jury. In the absence of any jurors or witnesses, the prosecution and defense discussed the telephone calls both Landowski and Humble made from jail, as well as the material recovered from the online social media accounts of the defendants.

The prosecution was able to get much of this material approved by the judge to present as evidence before the jury in the upcoming days. Regarding the three phone calls made from jail, one by Landowski and two by Humble, the judge ordered that the content would only be presented as evidence against the callers themselves and not against any of the other defendants.

In her phone call to an outside party, Landowski requested that the outside party “…put [her] pony in the garage.” This statement is believed to refer to the white Mustang, which Rite Aid security cameras spotted Landowski  driving, shortly after the shooting took place.

One of the phone calls made by Humble was also to the same outside party, with Humble asking her, “Is that thing still there?” The outside party replied, “It’s been there before you guys got locked up.” This statement is also considered by the prosecution to be referring to the same white Mustang captured in the Rite Aide camera footage.

Although the prosecution attempted to regard the combination of these statements as intent to conspire, the judge declared that the statements were simply too vague to reflect conspiracy.

The discussion regarding social media material primarily focused on the Facebook photos and messages pertaining to the defendant Michael Reyes. Several of the photos portray Reyes alongside known members of the Broderick Boys Norteño gang, which the prosecution hopes will be adequate to convince the jury of his association and active affiliation as an alleged gang member.

Some of the captions that accompany these photos are, “No one can f*** with us”, “B boys for life”, and “They see us, now they need to feel us.” One of the photos is a close up of a crown and the word “Yolo” tattooed on Reyes’ head, posted shortly after he got the tattoo done, in which he tagged the people also seen in the rest of his photos – known gang members, according to the prosecution.

The Facebook messages obtained by the prosecution and approved to be presented as evidence will likely play a crucial role before the jury. In one of the messages, Reyes is allegedly conducting a business transaction involving the sale of drugs and ammunition to a “customer.”

The prosecution determined that this message is particularly relevant to the trial because it reveals that the victim, who is a dropout member of a different gang, was selling drugs on Broderick turf while Reyes was also actively selling during that time. Therefore, the victim faced ramifications as a consequence of selling drugs on a competitor’s gang turf.

As the prosecution claimed, this apparent conflict of interest between competitors could very well serve as the motive behind the alleged attempted murder of the victim by the defendant Michael Reyes.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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1 Comment

  1. tribeUSA

    I remember several years ago on the Vanguard several articles related to the ‘proported’ Broderick Boys gang, with claims by the article authors and the social justice commenters on the Vanguard that the Broderick Boys was not really a serious gang, but more like a neighborhood club; and therefor gang intervention steps (such as a curfew) were not necessary–are things changing in the Broderick neighborhood?

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