Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, October 23, 2009

Alleged Witness Intimidator in 'Bamm-Bamm Bling' Murder Case Charged with Violating Probation

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 3:52 PM

One of the alleged gang members arrested outside a San Francisco courtroom for what the the District Attorney's office describes as an act of witness intimidation has been charged with violating the terms of his probation on a past felony conviction. He could return to prison as a result, the man's lawyer said today.

click to enlarge Intimidating.
  • Intimidating.
John Brown is the only one of the seven men who has been formally charged since the arrests took place on Oct. 6. DA office spokesman Brian Buckelew said that prosecutors will soon decide whether to press charges against the other men, who have all been released. Brown remains in custody, according to his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Michael Fox.

Brown and six others stood up in court when a witness in a murder trial was asked to identify the alleged shooter, defendant Charles Heard, who has been accused of killing a man over a medallion depicting The Flintstones character Bamm-Bamm. Assistant DA Michael Swart immediately called the move "out-and-out intimidation of a witness" and ordered them arrested. Eric Safire, Heard's defense attorney, said he had asked the men to stand to ensure a more fair identification process for his client, who was seated at the defense table in jail-issue orange clothes.

Buckelew rejected that explanation outright. "The notion that this was done as a way to safeguard Charles Heard's rights is ridiculous," he said. "I don't see how it would be remotely effective for the reason for which he did it." However, Fox said there's still a valid question as to why the men stood up in court: "The DA thinks it was an act of intimidation. The whole argument was, what was the act intended to do?" Fox said he was not yet aware what felony charge Brown had been put on probation for.

Safire and a private investigator working with him, Steve Vender, are also caught up in a more recent controversy. Prosecutors allege that Vender persuaded the victim in an attempted-murder trial not to testify against defendant Phil Pitney, and the DA's office says it has begun a criminal investigation into Vender's conduct.

Photo   |   CarbonNYC

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

Peter Jamison


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"