Prosecutors Charge 6th Defendant in "Bound and Gagged" SF Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cheryl Hurd
    A man and woman were found bound and gagged Dec. 9, 2012 at this home on Brussels Avenue in San Francisco.

    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 pleaded 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 reasons 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.