SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Several suspects were arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges stemming from the murder of a man who died after he and a woman were found bound and gagged in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood on Sunday.
Montrail Brackens, Vincent Bell, Heather Leach, Maryann Manalastas and Tyler Miller were arrested in connection with the death of Stephen Reid, 26, who was found tied up in the middle of the roadway in the 900 block of Brussels Street at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Brackens, Bell and Leach have been charged with murder, conspiracy and assault, while Manalastas and Miller were charged with conspiracy and being an accessory to the crime after the fact, according to a criminal complaint signed Wednesday by police Officer David Nakasu.
All of the suspects except for Miller were arraigned at the San Francisco Hall of Justice Wednesday afternoon. Miller posted bail and has been released.
A sixth person, Maelene Lintz, 32, had initially been arrested on suspicion of murder but was released Tuesday night, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Kathy Gorwood said.
Police and prosecutors have not released a possible motive for the murder, but District Attorney George Gascon, who held a news conference after the arraignment to discuss the case and stressed that the attack was not random and that the defendants and the victims all knew each other.
“The story here is very complicated,” he said. “There’s a lot of moving parts.”
According to the complaint, 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 and put them in a GMC Yukon where Leach was also inside.
At some point, someone shot Reid in the neck, and the suspects then allegedly dumped the pair on the roadway, according to the complaint.
A motorist came upon Reid and the woman, who were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where Reid later died. The woman’s injuries were initially considered life-threatening but she is now expected to survive, police said.
According to the complaint, the next day, Manalastas and Miller joined the other suspects at a home on Pinnacle Court in Hercules to destroy evidence in the Yukon by spraying cleaning fluid and removing a blood-stained carpet and foam padding from the vehicle.
Bell, whose aliases include Jonathan Stewart and Vince Miller, was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. He has previous convictions including one for second-degree robbery in Alameda County in 2001, according to the complaint.
Bell’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephen Olmo, said outside of court that his client “is adamant that he did not commit this crime.”
Olmo said Bell is “a family man” who is married with three children.
Dorfman, the prosecutor, indicated in court that additional charges, including a murder count, may be filed against Manalastas, who also goes by the alias “Pocahontas.”
However, her attorney, Daniel Byrne, said, “There is nothing in here that would indicate anything close to that.”
Bell, Brackens and Leach remain in custody on $2 million bail while Manalastas is being held on $500,000 bail.
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