New charges were filed today in connection with the murder of a man who died after he and a woman were found bound and gagged on a street in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley.
Prosecutors added a count of murder against an additional defendant this afternoon and counts of robbery and credit card fraud to the list of charges against five defendants allegedly connected to the death of Stephen Reid.
Reid, 26, was found tied up and injured in the middle of the 900 block of Brussels Street around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, along with an 18-year-old woman. The woman, whose injuries were initially considered life threatening, is expected to recover, but Reid, who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, died at the hospital shortly after he was found.
Montrail Brackens, 22, Vincent Bell, 31, Heather Leach, 24 and Maryann Manalastas, 22, all pleaded not guilty today in San Francisco Superior Court to a murder charge in connection with Reid’s death.
Manalastas, who also goes by the alias “Pocahontas,” had initially been charged only with assault, conspiracy and being an accessory to the crime after the fact, but was charged with murder today as well.
Prosecutors also added counts of residential robbery against Brackens and Bell and credit card fraud against Brackens, Bell, Leach and Manalastas.
A fifth defendant, Tyler Miller, 19, was arraigned today on charges of conspiracy and being an accessory to the crime after the fact. Miller has posted bail, but Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman said he planned to seek an increase in her bail before her next court appearance.
A sixth person, Maelene Lintz, 32, was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but her case has been discharged pending further investigation, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian.
According to a criminal complaint filed by police, Brackens and Bell entered a home at 3733 San Bruno Ave. and assaulted Reid and a woman in her late teens, then bound and gagged them–stuffing a sock in the woman’s mouth–and put them in a GMC Yukon.
Leach, whose aliases include Krystal Gillespie and “Snow,” was also allegedly in the Yukon. At some point, someone allegedly shot Reid in the neck, and then the victims were dumped on the roadway on Brussels Street, according to the complaint.
The suspects allegedly destroyed evidence in the Yukon the next day at a home on Pinnacle Court in Hercules by spraying cleaning fluid inside and removing blood-stained carpet and foam padding, the complaint alleges.
Bell, whose aliases include Jonathan Stewart and Vince Miller, was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. He has convictions including one for second-degree robbery in Alameda County in 2001, the complaint said.
Judge Nancy Davis also issued a court order today requiring Bell to submit, in the presence of his attorney, to photographs of injuries on his body. Bell has refused to allow the photos, and Dorfman said if he continued to resist the photos he would attempt to argue at trial that his actions showed consciousness of guilt.
Bell protested loudly several times in court today, and was admonished by Davis to remain silent. His attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephen Olmo, told Davis that police have caused injuries to Bell.
Olmo has previously said that Bell, who he describes as “a family man” with a wife and three children, adamantly denies the charges against him.
District Attorney George Gascon said earlier this week that the victims and suspects all knew each other, but prosecutors have not yet given a possible motive in the case.
Bell, Brackens and Leach remain in custody on $2 million bail, and Manalastas on $500,000 bail.
Sara Gaiser/Dan McMenamin, Bay City News