Preliminary Hearing Begins in Baby Murder

Yolo County Courthouse - New
Samantha Green now faces murder charges in the death of Justice Rees
Samantha Green now faces murder charges in the death of Justice Rees

By Tressa Bryant

A tearful Samantha Green faced her preliminary hearing regarding the death of her 19-day-old son, which occurred on February 24, 2015. Officers responsible for interviewing Ms. Green took the stand.

The first officer to testify recalled that Ms. Green reported she had been kidnapped with her child at Knights Landing. Ms. Green was in Knights Landing looking for her fiancé.

Ms. Green went looking for help when she woke up the next morning. She reported leaving her baby because she thought he was already dead. “His body was cold.” She told police.

Ms. Green also reported that her child was being unresponsive to her voice and attempts to warm his body. The officer remembered that Ms. Green was crying and had long scratches and bruises on her arms and legs. Ms. Green was dirty and cold when officers found her.

Detective Brian Young of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department was the next officer to take the stand, with very similar descriptions, yet this time the testimony was about sexual assault. Ms. Green told him that she arrived at Knights Landing looking for her fiancé, when she said she saw a mutual friend instead, and the friend tried to grab her breast.

Ms. Green crawled away, crossing the levee at some point. The fiancé, Frank Rees, was picking up a friend in Knights Landing, although he and Ms. Green where meant to travel together. The two of them had a fight early in the morning and Ms. Green told Mr. Rees that she would not be going with him to pick up their friend.

However, on the way home Ms. Green changed her mind. After stopping at the house to get some formula for her baby’s bottle, she set out to Knights Landing. She was afraid that their friend and Mr. Rees were possibly having an affair. Upon arriving, Ms. Green instead ran into another friend, who she claimed sexually assaulted her, yet she also reported to the officers that she was not even sure if this man was really there or not.

When Det. Young was cross-examined, he also reported noticing bruises and scratches on Ms. Green and that she had to fight hard to stay awake. Det. Young had been given permission by Ms. Green’s doctors to wake her up and question her about what happened to her.

Ms. Green agreed to take an examination to determine if she had been sexually assaulted or not, but Ms. Green added there would be no evidence because the water would have washed it all away.

The final detective to testify for the day was Tamara Pelle of the Woodland Police Department, who interviewed Ms. Green in the ambulance before Ms. Green was taken to the hospital. Det. Pelle reported that Ms. Green was avoiding the subject of her son and never once stated, “We need to find my son.”

Instead, Ms. Green was asking to see her fiancé. Ms. Green could not remember or seem to remember where her son was, only that she had to swim to where she had been and that her baby was by a tree.

When Det. Pelle tried to ask Ms. Green whether she could take authorities to the baby, Ms. Green seemed to avoid the question and even said no at one point.

Det. Pelle talked to Mr. Rees who had a story similar to Ms. Green’s,  although he told Det. Pelle that he would never cheat on Ms. Green. Det. Pelle reported that their friend had been taking him along the back roads from Knights Landing and started talking about some hardships she was going through.

Det. Pelle reported that Rees said he pulled over to talk with her because he wanted to help his friend. Det. Pelle added that Rees left the car lights on and that the battery ended up dying and he had to find someone to help jump-start the car.

Mr. Rees believed the friend, that Ms. Green reported as assaulting her, had the baby because of some “sinister smiley face” text messages he had received. When Ms. Green did not come home Mr. Rees told Det. Pelle that he went out to look for her but could not find her.

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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