DA: Killing Followed Discovery of Fake Credit Card Making in Hercules

Stephen Reid, 26, was killed earlier this month in San Francisco.

By Bay City News

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – The six defendants charged in connection with the killing of a man found bound and gagged alongside a severely beaten hog-tied woman on a San Francisco street are believed to be part of an organized credit card fraud operation, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said this afternoon.

This case "unfolds like a bad movie plot," Gascon said at his office after a sixth defendant, Catherine Uong, 26, was charged this morning in San Francisco Superior Court with murder, robbery, fraudulent credit card activity, and various assault and weapons charges in San Francisco Superior Court.

She joins five others who had previously been charged in connection with .

Gascon said there is evidence that the defendants -- Uong, nicknamed "Killer," Montrail Brackens, 21, Vincent Bell, 31, Heather Leach, 24, Maryann Manalastas, 22, and Tyler Miller, 19 -- were manufacturing false credit cards out of a home in Hercules.

The group was apparently working together, and were all well-known to the female victim. Reid appears to have "stumbled" upon the group, however his connection is still unclear, according to Gascon.

"We're dealing with people who are not hesitant to kill someone," Gascon said.

The case stems from the death of Reid on the night of Dec. 9 when he and an 18-year-old woman were found tied up in the middle of the 900 block of Brussels Street.

Reid was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck, while the woman had life-threatening injuries but is now expected to survive. Reid died later that night at a hospital.

Brackens and Bell, who also appeared briefly in court this morning with Leach and Manalastas to set their next appearance, are accused of entering a home at 3733 San Bruno Ave. that night and assaulting Reid and the 18-year-old woman.

The pair then tied the victims up and gagged them, including stuffing a sock in the woman's mouth, and put them in a GMC Yukon, according to court filings.

Leach, whose aliases include Krystal Gillespie and "Snow," was also apparently in the Yukon. At some point, someone allegedly shot Reid in the neck and the victims were then dumped on the roadway on Brussels Street, according to a criminal complaint filed by the district attorney's office.

Leach and Manalastas, along with Uong, are believed to have assaulted the woman in a bedroom on San Bruno Avenue before she was bound and gagged, the complaint alleges.

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 bloodstained carpet and foam padding, according to the complaint.

The Pinnacles Court home where the car was parked is apparently Miller's mother's home, Miller's defense attorney John Kaman said today.

At that home, the district attorney's office said a credit card reader, label maker, some 50 blank credit cards, a zip drive and handwritten notes with various numbers, addresses and names were found.

The district attorney's office has requested handwriting samples from all the defendants, for what prosecutors say will connect written documents recovered in Hercules to the murder and fraudulent use of credit cards.

Uong, Bell, Brackens and Leach are in custody on $2 million bail and Manalastas is on $500,000 bail.

Miller is expected to post $50,000 bail today after she was taken into custody this morning when her bail was raised from $15,000.

She was arraigned two weeks ago on charges of conspiracy and being an accessory to the crime after the fact. She had been out on bail until this morning.

Uong is set to be arraigned Jan. 14, with the five other defendants also expected to appear in court that day.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

baby mama January 06, 2013 at 07:13 AM
why would they do this to my childs father....was it that serious? nobody deserves to go out like that! my baby is missing her dad she even dreams about him....this feels so unreal....these ppl over reacted and took this man,daddy,son,uncle,brother away....judge gone head and givee em life!!!!...i dont care wat he may have done all that was unneccessary straight up. now i have to hear about my baby and her memories and her dreams
teamfamily March 07, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Well before u wish life on someone make sure its the right person! yes this is sad and noone kid,mother,father,ect. Should have to go thru this ur rite but im not gone let any one place the blame on my cousin i mean he has a family too! we love him and need him with us he has done nothing wrong but yet everybody seem to feel its ok to slander his name! what happen to innocent until oroven guilty? i mean u guys have jus painted a pic that only yall want to see! and its far frm the truth i mean i no forsho my cousin had nothing to do with any of this but yet he had to b taken frm his family,have his name slander all 4 what? cus the police cant do they job? wtf? yeah like i said i feel sorry for yall lost but my family is loosen someone spacial to us so b4 u say throw the book make sure its at the rite person! teamfamily!
eskimo April 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM
For baby mama....you dont no for certain what your baby daddy was doing or was going to do! Okay he lost his life but the situation could of been different..they say the girl victim knew the people and the guy stumbled upon them..who knows what really happend. Everyone family has lost someone..too me it looks like bad decions were made by everyone in this bazarr incident.. The media also puts news out there that isnt true and that goes for any crime story they pick up.. the other girl that was released name was released on news her house, her picture, and was being charged but then they released her pending further investigation. So this girl havent been charged but her name still remains on the internet. So they broadcast her business but now i wonder how her life is going..so everyone in this is suffering someway or another...its just sad that people dont think before they act..i hope the best for baby m
eskimo April 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM
And teamfamily... i can relate to you both..i lost a close family member because of violence..


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