Victim Takes the Stand in Attempted Murder Trail

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

By Tressa Bryant, Jackie Snyder, Madeleine Gallay

The trial of Michael Reyes, Liberty Landowski and Lisa Humble resumed, with testimonies from two witnesses, and the victim spoke about what happened on November 18, 2014.

Witness number three for the prosecution spoke about what she witnessed. She stated that she was talking on the phone with her daughter when she heard a rapid series of noises. She believed that the noises she heard were fireworks but her daughter told her that they were gunshot sounds. She reported hearing three to four gunshots, with a pause in between the third and fourth shots. She reported hearing police sirens a few minutes later but never saw anything.

The next witness to testify was Detective Thomas Lynn who works in the West Sacramento Police Department as an auto theft detective. Detective Lynn was sent to run plates for a car that was parked illegally. The car was flagged for possibly being stolen or possibly having weapons, and Det. Lynn did not remember for which reason it was flagged.

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor then recalled the victim in the case. She asked him various questions about the gang culture, as he was previously involved in a gang. When asked how females may prove themselves trustworthy, the victim stated they may do so by simply being loyal. DDA Zambor then asked if there were ramifications for females that may “snitch” on their significant others, and the victim stated that there could be, but men who snitched were held to a higher standard.

Ms. Zambor then directed her questioning to November 18, 2014, the day the incident in question took place. When asked about the shooting, the victim claimed that his wife and he were riding their bikes when a white convertible Mustang pulled up. Michael Reyes then exited the vehicle through the front passenger window and began walking up to the victim. Reyes then asked the victim whether he “had a problem.” After the victim responded “no” and continued riding his bicycle, he heard approximately six shots. The victim testified that he then felt a stinging pain in his back and arm and soon fell over and blacked out. He claimed that when he regained consciousness, his wife was speaking to another lady. The victim then blacked out again and the next time he came to, he was being transported in an ambulance. The victim stated he was in the hospital for a fair amount of time and underwent approximately two surgeries as a result of the shooting.

During cross-examination the victim was asked if he felt the shooting was gang related. The victim stated that he felt the incident had nothing to do with gangs. The victim explained, in earlier testimony, that he had a prior relationship with Reyes’ stepfather and that he (Reyes’ stepfather) owed him money.

The victim testified that the shooting was most likely personal and had to do with his (the victim’s) issue with Reyes’ stepfather. When the victim was asked if he was ever placed in a similar situation while he was still involved in a gang, he claimed he was. The victim stated that not all crimes he committed were for the benefit of the gang. He claimed that during that time he was involved in a gang, there were times when he had issues with others that were personal and had nothing to do with gangs.

This testimony could be considered beneficial to the defense, as the prosecution is trying to prove the incident in question is gang related and was committed for the benefit and or promotion of Reyes’ gang. The jury was then excused for afternoon break. The trial was set to reconvene at 1:30pm.

Afternoon Session

The second afternoon of witness questioning began with Detective Bryan Schmidt. Now working for the Elk Grove department, Det. Schmidt began his testimony by recounting the events of November 18. He revealed to the court details of his two- to three-hour interview with the victim’s wife.

During this interview, Det. Schmidt showed her photo line-ups of different women. These photo line-ups were used to either prove or disprove the presence of both Ms. Landowski and Ms. Humble in the car on November 18.

Through further questioning, DDA Zambor unveiled that Ms. Humble had posted pictures of herself and Ms. Landowski by a white Mustang on social media. Attorney Rod Beede also proved that the top of car was black.

The last witness of the day was Private Investigator Trina Tamari, who began working for the West Sacramento Police Department two and a half years ago.

PI Tamari began her testimony by drawing, on a map of Proctor and Sycamore avenues, where the police had put up traffic barricades.

Continuing her testimony, Tamari showed the jury many photos of the backpack the police recovered from the victim’s back. Ms. Zambor had Tamari circle many damaged spots on the red and grey backpack, which Tamari believed to be caused by a projectile.

PI Tamari then presented to the jury pictures of six bullet casings scattered along a fence line on Proctor Ave. She briefly described to the court that no fingerprints were found on any of them.

The final evidence presented to the court this afternoon was pictures of the La Quinta Inn. This was the Sacramento hotel to which the defendants went after being kicked out of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The pictures taken in room 228 contained a pipe, a lighter, a black firearm, .22 caliber bullets, two wallets, some money and a few receipts. This concluded today’s testimony.

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. betatstr

        Thanks. I thought it was really weird unless he was going to take a deal. If they refiled then I guess he didn’t take a deal. It just seems weird that they did it at the last minute.

      2. NoneYaBidness

        They basically had no evidence against Eric Lovett in this case, other then the fact he was at the hotel parking lot where the others were arrested, and that there “may” have been another male in the back seat of the mustang. During the second day of the Pre-trial, it’s alleged that he made threatening hand gestures towards the victim while he was testifying. These allegations were brought up on the third day of Pre-trail. I believe the Vangaurd reported on day one and two, but not day three when these allegations were made. I would guess that the DA knew they would not get a conviction on him for this case, but will, or has, filed charges for threatening a witness. The DA stated that they have court room video of him doing this.

        I do not know this to be fact. Just an opinion. Based on the transcripts I read.

        1. NoneYaBidness

          Also, I commend what the Davis Vanguard is trying to do. But, at least in this case, I have the full court room transcripts for the Pre-Trial, and as far as I can see, your reporting is vague and misleading at best. And in some cases flat out wrong. I would suggest ordering transcripts or getting approval to record in court, then taking the time to make sure the things you print are in fact what was said in court. Otherwise it defeats the purpose. Otherwise, you are not any better than the system you are trying to fix.

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