By Misha Berman
Officer Anthony Herrera, a West Sacramento Police Department detective, resumed his testimony on the morning of April 8, 2016, in Department 10. Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequiera was cross-examining him.
Officer Herrera explained that he and Officer Louis Cameron, also a detective with the department, separated when they arrived at the parking lot in West Sacramento between the hours of 3:42 and 4:30 p.m. Officer Herrera then explained that they were looking for specific groups of people, and that one of them was friends with Defendant Eric Lovett.
Officer Herrera then discussed how they were not after Mr. Lovett until after what occurred in the parking lot.
“Officer Cameron sees him next to a vehicle and he drove over to the rear of the complex where Officer Cameron was, he went to the other side and I took over Cameron’s position,” stated Officer Herrera.
Officer Herrera said that Mr. Lovett at that time was on a balcony, looking over it and just walking around.
“Detective[s] [Michael] Duggins and Cameron approached Lovett. There was no problem when Lovett was approached, he put his hands up and was cooperative and admits what he has done wrong,” said Officer Herrera.
Herrera then told Ms. Sequeira that he remembered Mr. Lovett’s car door was open on the driver’s side when Cameron saw him, and there was a room key that Officer Duggins found.
“When he was out of my view after he left the balcony, that’s when he put on his tactical gear and went towards the prism.” Officer Herrera said that after Lovett was detained, he went to the room they key card matched, and nothing of Lovett’s was found in the room except the EBT card that belonged to “L.H.”
Ms. Sequiera asked Officer Herrera if he knew whether the room key was in Mr. Lovett’s pocket. Herrera said no, since he had no form of communication with Mr. Lovett after he was arrested.
According to Herrera, “S.R.” stated that “L.H.” was the driver. Officer Herrera then stated that, after a week or two weeks, he concluded that this case was gang-related. Ms. Sequiera then asked Herrera whether he made contact with anybody after they were arrested for “gang-related events.” Officer Herrera said he did not.
“You had info there was a shooting of “Mr. S” and you knew of Mr. S and S.R.’s criminal history and you knew S.R. shot Mr. S?” asked Ms. Sequiera.
Ms. Sequiera then stressed that Herrera did not talk to Mr. S or S.R. and did not communicate with anyone he arrested to try to get more background knowledge on a shooting incident.
“You never considered what Eric Lovett told you in regards to the incident?” asked Ms. Sequiera.
Officer Herrera then responded that he did. Judge Maguire then asked Officer Herrera to confirm that he indeed did consider what Mr. Lovett told him in regard to the incident. Ms. Sequeira then responded that he mentioned before that he did not, so she is objecting.
Ms. Sequiera then proceeded to ask Officer Herrera questions about his February 19, 2015, testimony.
“I was advised by the bailiff to watch Eric Lovett,” said Officer Herrera.
Herrera then pointed out how, when Ms. S was testifying in court, he saw Mr. Lovett lean over and move his finger across his waistline, since he was handcuffed, and that implied that he wanted to slit Mr. S’s throat.
“You didn’t say anything to the prosecution or anyone?” asked Ms. Sequiera.
Officer Herrera said he didn’t “recall.”
“The prosecution contacted you that day about a similar throat gesture, do you recall this happening?” queried Ms. Sequiera.
Officer Herrera responded that he did not remember that. Ms. Sequiera then said that, before, he said that he did remember this had occurred, and she asked why he was changing his statements.
“Because it was so bad,” responded Officer Herrera.
Herrera then talked about where he saw the video from the courtroom, and how he saw it in his office before investigating.
“I believe that the law gives me authority to ask questions that goes beyond locating registered gang members,” replied Herrera.
Ms. Sequiera then asked if he read any of the “case law” she gave him, having asked Deputy District Attorney Robin Johnson to tell him to read before trial. He said that he did not.
“Have you read about any law since 2002?” asked Sequiera.
Officer Herrera responded that he has not..
Judge Maguire said the court will return in session on the afternoon of April 8, 2016.