Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jury expected to get Siavii case today

by Tom Nadeau

Defendant Poe Blue Siavii went through two days of soul-exposing testimony and grueling cross-examination before concluding his time on the stand in his Sacramento trial for special circumstances murder.

The jury is likely to hear the few remaining defense witnesses today and hear closing arguments from both sides before they begin to deliberate in the matter of People v. Siavii, #08F07611.

Ore hammers away ...

Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore hammered away at drug business Siavii admits operating and the events that led to the killing of Joshua Kalb, who was shot twice in the back of the head as he sat in his car at the Elkhorn Boulevard Park ‘n’ Ride lot off Highway 99 May 5, 2008.

Rebuttal witnesses today are likely to discuss the technical aspects of cell phones and many area transmission towers, and the traces they retained of Siavii’s many calls Siavii admitted making in the hours leading up to the murder.

In his direct examination by defense attorney Kyle Knapp, Siavii admitted being present at Kalb’s killing, but insists that his sometime drug-runner Steven Riddick was the shooter and that it all came as a complete surprise to Siavii, who portrayed himself as more or less an innocent bystander – or perhaps by-sitter in the car – when the rounds were fired.

It was only out of his fear of Riddick that he helped wipe away fingerprints from the murder care and collected the expended shell casings and tossed them out of his car somewhere on the freeway home after the killing.

Arrested Sept. 12, 2008, Siavii is accused of murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait. Siavii has pleaded innocent, but, if convicted, he faces a possible term of life in prison without parole.

Kalb, 27, was one intermediary dealer in a chain of dealers in an ever-changing ring linking methamphetamine manufacturers and Sacramento area middlemen with drug distributors in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Siavii and Riddick, both Samoans, were members of close-knit community of Samoan “cousins” who lived and worked in the Sacramento area.

The meth was packaged and shipped to Hawaii via common carriers such as United Parcel Service and messenger, or “runner,” Riddick, would later fly over to the island bring back the pay-off.

The amounts of these pay-offs varied considerably – as did the “facts” of the events and circumstances did as Siavii shifted his testimony under Ore’s pointed cross-examination.

Under questioning by Knapp, Siavii had previously admitted his traffic volume and single pay-offs sometimes ran as high as $380,000.

With Ore pressing for more details about a storage unit near his Sacramento-area home, Siavii revealed that he was getting some $30,000 a pound for the meth he supplied, and, what with his sales traffic booming, he had piled up more than $900,000 in the storage unit.

He had a substantial amount of ready cash tucked away around his home, too, Siavii said..

Riddick, the prosecution’s main witness testifying with immunity guaranteed, said earlier that he himself had brought back a duffle bag stuffed with $200,000 in cash.

Questioned why Riddick, rather than he, had killed Kalb, Siavii said Tuesday that Riddick was trying to move up in the business and was conducting some of his own business on the side.

Siavii portrayed Kalb’s killing as part of Riddick’s rise.

The jury was dismissed shortly before noon to allow Sacramento Superior Court Judge James L. Long and the attorneys to finalize the instructions the jurors would get after closing arguments.

With Siavii accused of being the murderer and him counter-claiming that it was really Riddick who was the killer, a principal instructions issue the lawyers wrangled over was the language used to describe Riddick and Siavii’s roles.

Use of the “aiding and abetting” language was the most debated .

If the jury is convinced by the defense arguments that Riddick was the killer, not Siavii, and Riddick has been given immunity, then the verdict and effective outcome of this unusual case could be curious indeed.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]