Preliminary Hearing in Kerman Double Murder Case - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Preliminary Hearing in Kerman Double Murder Case

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By Nicole Garcia

Fresno – Six of Fresno's top criminal defense attorneys were all in the same courtroom, defending suspects Chris Butler, Dawn Singh, Neko Wilson, Andrew Jones, Jose Reyes and Leroy Johnson.

All are accused of playing a part in the murders.

Relatives of the DeBartolos were also in court, listening as homicide detectives revealed what allegedly went down inside the DeBartolos home.

Detective Sergio Toscano says two of the suspects, Reyes and Butler, offered details of the murders when they were interviewed.

He testified that Neko Wilson was named the mastermind of the plot to rob the DeBartolos – who were apparently growing and selling marijuana out of their home.

"To go and do a robbery at the residence, smash and grab was a term he used... From my burglary experience, kick the front door in, grab the valuables, and leave," testified Detective Toscano.

But that's not how the robbery played out.

He testified as to what butler told him that Leroy Johnson went further, and slit both of the couple's throats, in the process.

"He said that Leroy had the gloves, he was bleeding he had some wounds on his hands...he asked him what happened, he said I had to do it, he said he had to kill them, there was arguing going on over why had had to do what he had to do, he told them had to because they didn't give up what he wanted," testified Toscano.

He says butler also claimed Johnson left the home with a bloody knife wrapped in a baseball cap, but Johnson's attorney fired back.

"Was that white cap or knife ever recovered?" asked David Mugridge.

Toscano replied, "I don't know."

Another detective testified that both Gary and Sandra DeBartolo died, as a result of cuts to their necks.

The hearing is expected to wrap up on Tuesday.

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