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Witnesses describe suspect and give details about oldest boys in day 13 of La Mesa Murders trial

Oldest boys last seen alive by Pool Technician

Day 13 La Mesa Street Murders trial

YUMA, Ariz. - A neighbor describes the suspect while the family's pool technician shares details about the last time 13-year-old Andreas Crawford and 12-year-old Enrique Bedoya were seen alive.

Two witnesses and two police detectives took the stand in Day 13 of the La Mesa Street Murders trial.

The Jury first heard from Keith Hansen on Friday.

Hansen told the jury that he and his wife were in their backyard on the night of the murders.

The couple lived one home away from Luis Rios and Adrienne Heredia's new home at 2037 E. La Mesa Street.

Hansen said his wife was in the pool and he was standing near his barbecue grill.

Hansen said it was starting to get dark when they heard "rapid fire."

"We heard some gunfire and I thought it was cherry bombs but my wife said it was gunfire," Hansen explained.

Hansen says he turned towards the Rios' home in time to see two flashes and a man standing in the family's backyard.

"The man was looking south towards the alley," Hansen said.

Hansen told the jury that he didn't get a good glance at the man's face catching only a quick profile view.

According to Hansen the man was wearing a blue, or dark colored shirt.

"I couldn't tell you whether it was the man that lived there, I couldn't see his face, only shoulder up. I saw the side of him, I guess," Hansen explained.

Hansen said he walked closer towards the Rios' home but his wife called him back into the house.

"My wife said 'those are shots, we need to go back in.' So, that's what we did," Hansen explained.

Hansen also told the jury he heard about three to four shots.

"It was rapid fire. It went real quick, that he pulled the trigger."

The prosecution then asked Hansen about a visit police had recorded with him on July 6.

Hansen told prosecutor Karolyn Kaczorowski that he couldn't remember the exact date of the meeting but said July 6 sounded right.

According to Hansen, he was shown a black and white sketch drawing of a potential suspect during the meeting with police detectives.

Hansen said he couldn't remember too many details about the suspect's face but did remember his hair.

"I said the guy had more hair. It was about an inch to an inch and a half, like a mini Afro," Hansen explained,"He didn't have shaved hair. I always thought him to have more hair, and I stood by that."

Hansen was also able to recall details about the man's skin tone.

"I thought he had a dark complexion; not really black but darker than a Hispanic person," Hansen explained.

Hansen said he remembered the man as being about 5'9" tall.

"Do you remember calling him a 'pretty tall guy?'" Kaczorowski asked after reading from Hansen's written statement for police shortly after the murders.

"No, I don't remember that part," Hansen answered.

Do you remember writing that you, "could see the man was about 40 steps away, so he was a pretty tall guy, but from over the wall you could see?" Kaczorowski asked.

"Yeah, I could see him standing from over the wall," Hansen said explaining that the walls dividing the homes weren't very tall and he could see the man's profile.

During cross examination the defense asked Hansen about possible differences in the ground levels of the backyards but Hansen replied that he wasn't sure.

The next person on the stand was the family's pool technician, Jerry Gomes.

Gomes said he recorded his arrival at the home at 11:55 a.m. in his work log.

Gomes said he stayed at the home for about thirty minutes to service the pool and recorded leaving at 12:24 p.m.

Gomes told the jury that he found it unusual that the children didn't come out to visit with him that day saying 6-year-old Danny Heredia, III, usually came outside with one of his siblings.

(In previous days, the prosecution explained that Danny Heredia, III, and 9-year-old Inez Newman were with Danny Heredia, Jr., at the time of Gomes visit.)

Gomes said he next went to service another home in the area, about a half-mile away.

Realizing that he had forgotten the water test kit near the pool deck, Gomes said he and his wife went back to the home on La Mesa at about 12:39 p.m.

"But the chemical tester wasn't there [near the pool deck] so my wife went to the door to knock; and she got the tester from one of the kids," Gomes explained.

Gomes also told the jury he didn't come forward to police until late September when he shared his experience with a friend who was also a police officer.

"I told him what happened and he told me he'd set up an interview so I could tell police," Gomes explained.

"So, it's not that you were trying to hide anything but you told a friend who happened to be a police officer?" Kaczorowski asked.

"Correct,"Gomes replied.

The defense also asked about his remarks about finding it unusual that the children never came outside.

"You found it strange when you were cleaning the pool that the kids didn't come outside, that was unusual for you?" defense attorney Bill Fox asked.

"Yes," Gomes replied,"Danny usually came out. The three younger ones, usually the boys came out."

"But the girl too?" Fox asked.

"Yes," Gomes answered.

Retired Yuma Police Department detective Tammi Kallinger also took the stand.

Kallinger testified about her assignment to collect information about Luis Rios at RC Liquor store in the hours following police officer's arrival at the home.

" I was there about 30 minutes, not long," Kallinger explained, " I spoke with three subjects; Rob Herrick, John Palacio, and Jonathan Palacio."

Retired Yuma Police Department officer Greg Counts also took the stand.

Counts testified about his experience as a member of the SWAT team that first entered the home on the night of the murders.

Counts explained that he was the first team member in the door and was holding the shield.

Counts also told the jury that he was the first to enter the room where Andreas Crawford and Enrique Bedoya's bodies were found.

"I saw the two bodies and got a response from neither party," Counts explained.

Counts also said he found the bodies of Adrienne Heredia and Danny Heredia in the master bedroom.

Later, he also went into the room where Inez Newman's body was located.


Counts explained that he was also tasked with preparing the initial police report and assisting in the initial search of Luis Rios' 2000 Dodge Durango.

Day 14 of the trial resumes on March 13.


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