By Bay City News
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Prosecutors have charged a sixth defendant who appeared in court this morning in the case of a man who died after he and a woman were bound and gagged and left on a street in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley earlier this month.
Catherine Uong, 26, also known as "Killer," was charged with murder, residential robbery and various assault and weapons charges in San Francisco Superior Court, joining five others who had previously been charged in connection with the death of Stephen Reid, 26.
Reid and an 18-year-old woman were found tied up in the middle of the 900 block of Brussels Street the night of Dec. 9.
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.
Montrail Brackens, 22, Vincent Bell, 31, Heather Leach, 24 and Maryann Manalastas, 22, have all pled not guilty to Reid's murder.
Uong is being held on $2 million bail and is set to be arraigned Jan. 14, with the five other defendants also expected to appear in court that day.
This morning, Uong, clad in an orange jail jumpsuit, told Judge Perker Meeks, "Yes, your honor," when asked about postponing her arraignment until next month.
Tyler Miller, 19, who was out of custody on bail, also appeared in court to discuss her bail after being arraigned two weeks ago on charges of conspiracy and being an accessory to the crime after the fact.
Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman asked to increase Miller's bail to $100,000.
Dorfman said her current, lighter bail of $15,000 "does not do justice" to the case.
According to Dorfman, Miller was caught actively destroying evidence after the fact.
A GMC Yukon used to carry bound-and-gagged Reid and the woman was parked in front of Miller's mother's home in Hercules the night of the murder, Miller's defense attorney John Kaman said.
Dorfman said Miller had been destroying evidence of the crime from the car.
Kaman argued that evidence had possibly been destroyed from the car before it arrived in Hercules and that there is no clear indication that Miller committed the cover-up.
He also cited her young age, lack of a criminal record and full-time job at a Taco Bell as reaons to keep her current bail amount.
Judge Meeks called the case "serious" and said her connections to the murder make her a "danger to the community" before raising Miller's bail to $50,000.
Miller, dressed in a pink shirt, white pants and a pink bow tied around her head, was handcuffed in court and taken into custody until her higher bail is posted, which her attorney said would occur by the end of the day.
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. on Dec. 9 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 the Yukon, according to a criminal complaint filed by police.
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 the victims were then dumped on the roadway on Brussels Street, according to the complaint.
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 blood-stained carpet and foam padding, according to the complaint.
Bell, Brackens and Leach remain in custody on $2 million bail and Manalastas is on $500,000 bail.
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