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Detective testifies in ongoing Halloween murder hearing

Posted: July 23, 2012 7:37 p.m.
Updated: July 23, 2012 7:37 p.m.


SAN FERNANDO — The preliminary hearing of three young men charged with murder in the Halloween death of a Canyon Country man continued Monday with the testimony of a homicide detective.

Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker, a detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau, described how he interviewed Keyada Robinson shortly after the killing on Oct. 31, 2011.

Robinson, who was friends with the three defendants, had taken the stand earlier in the hearing and said he couldn’t remember many of the details about his conversations with the defendants.

The three accused — Diamonte Jerome McGhee and Eric Michael Edwards, both 18, and Branden Travaughn Higgs, 17 — have been present at the hearing in San Fernando Superior Court on charges they killed Alejandro Sanchez Torrez on Oct. 31.

Shortly after the murder, Schoonmaker interviewed Robinson in the backyard of a Canyon Country home.

After the interview, Robinson’s mother approached the detective and asked him how it went, he testified Monday.
Schoonmaker said he told the woman Robinson appeared apprehensive.

“He said McGhee was his friend and he didn’t want to get him into trouble,” Schoonmaker said, recalling his conversation with the mother.

At that point, Robinson and his mother talked for about 10 minutes a short distance from him, Schoonmaker said.

Shortly after speaking with his mother, Robinson approached the detective and said he had something more to tell him.

“He told me McGhee did tell him more and that he wanted me to know,” Schoonmaker told court.

“He (Robinson) wanted to be completely honest.”

Schoonmaker said he put into writing what Robinson had told him.

Then, on Nov. 10, 2011, he met Robinson again and showed him a transcript of the interview.

Assistant District Attorney Bradley Lieberman then asked Schoonmaker: “Was a portion of that interview about McGhee who told him about being the shooter?”

Schoonmaker said yes.




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