Deadly CHP chase in Fresno connected to foster child murder case

FRESNO, Calif.

A search warrant details the entire chase between CHP and the suspects. But one of the most interesting details was whose car they're accused of stealing in the first place.

Cell phone video captured the chaos at the end of the chase. Officers riddled the green Honda Civic with bullets, and the suspects -- Mello and Cervelli -- were killed.

Fresno Police are investigating the officer-involved shooting and they wrote a search warrant detailing what they've pieced together so far. It says the chase started at 2 p.m. when officers pulled Mello over because she was driving without a key in the ignition. The warrant says she sped away, and nearly ran over a motorcycle officer a couple minutes later.

CHP officers spiked the suspects' tires at about 2:15 p.m., and a little while later, the suspects broadsided a Jeep, but kept driving on flat tires.

Finally, at 2:26 p.m., after driving for more than ten minutes on flat tires and rims, the suspects slammed into a pickup truck and spun out.

The warrant says Mello revved the engine and scooted forward as officers Jerrod Banda and Sean Duncan approached on foot, so the officers opened fire.

"She had already tried to take out one of our motor officers," said CHP officer Matt Radke. "So this person had to be stopped and the only means necessary was taken. And that's how we stopped them."

Mello and Cervelli died from the gunshots. Coroners say they both had large amounts of methamphetamine in their system when they died. And investigators uncovered a connection to a foster baby's murder when they ran the plates on the Civic. The car was reported stolen by Randall Reynolds -- whose wife, Jovannee, is charged with shaking 7-week-old Mikayla Tabin until the little girl died.

Reynolds is out of jail on bond and Action News talked to her Monday. She confirmed her strange connection to the car chase, but didn't want to say anything beyond that. She's due back in court in two weeks on her murder charges.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.