Details on robbery plans of murdered Kerman couple come out in court

KERMAN, Calif. (KFSN) -- Details about the plans to rob a Kerman couple that ended in both being murdered were revealed in court Wednesday. Six people are charged in connection with the deaths of Gary and Sandra DeBartolo in 2009.

Dawn Singh claims she was just the driver and had nothing to do with the murders of Gary and Sandra. Under questioning from Singh's attorney, one of the other five people charged in the crime, Chris Butler testified nobody was supposed to get hurt.

"The main object of this particular exercise was to steal the marijuana," said Eric Green, Defense Attorney.

"Yeah To get the marijuana," answered Butler.

"And you were not intent on hurting anybody, killing anybody," said Green.

"No, no," responded Butler.

But both Gary and Sandra DeBartolo, a couple in their 60's who sold marijuana for extra money, ended up dead. Just minutes after two of the suspects, Jose Reyes and Leroy Johnson entered their home. Reyes testified he witnessed co-defendant Leroy Jones kill Mr. DeBartolo.

"While I was going through the closet I just heard someone say ouch.

Someone said ouch."

"Did you turn around," asked an attorney.

"Yes," responded Reyes.

When asked what he saw Reyes responded, "I seen Johnson cutting Mr. DeBartolo's throat."

Butler said he and Singh were in the car when the killings occurred, and when Johnson came out and told them what happened, then went back inside. He urged Singh to take off and leave Johnson behind.

"I told her to leave him and she said I'm not leaving nobody."

Butler also testified Singh advised Johnson to pick up the latex gloves he left behind so they wouldn't find his DNA.

Singh, Butler, Johnson, and another suspect Andrew Jones all fled the scene in Singh's car. Quickly spotted by police, Singh lead officers on a high-speed chase.

"She was just dipping, just going around spike strips and all that just trying to get away," said Butler.

They were all captured and defendant Reyes turned himself in a week later.

Reyes and Butler have accepted a plea deal to roughly 30-year prison terms. Singh turned down an offer of 25 years, and could now face life in prison if convicted.

Leroy Johnson could face the death penalty. He is not expected to go on trial until next year.
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