A judge on Tuesday determined there’s enough evidence for Devenae Price and Kevin Barnes to stand trial in the death of Falane Jones, a 37-year-old father who was gunned down earlier this year at a Turlock apartment complex.
Price, 25, is charged with murder and is accused of firing the fatal shot. Kevin Barnes, 19, is charged with being an accessory in Jones’ death.
Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Marie Silveira said there was enough probable cause to order a trial, but she didn’t hear any testimony that indicated a possible motive for the killing. “I couldn’t figure that out,” the judge told the attorneys.
Price spoke up in court Tuesday, telling the judge he wasn’t satisfied with his court-appointed attorney’s performance. “I don’t believe my attorney argued my preliminary hearing right,” the defendant said.
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Silveira told Price that he needs to discuss his case with his attorney; not in open court with the judge. This wasn’t the first time Price has spoken about his lack of confidence in his defense attorney, Robert Winston.
Last week, the judge stopped the preliminary hearing to hold a closed courtroom hearing on Price’s request to appoint another attorney to represent him. Silveira decided there was nothing that warranted replacing Winston, and the preliminary hearing continued.
The deadly shooting occurred about 9:45 p.m. April 23 at the Villas Parkside apartments in the 300 block of West Hawkeye Avenue. Witnesses told investigators that a black car pulled into the parking lot of the complex.
One witness said a passenger with dreadlocks got out of the car, and the driver with shorter hair fired a gun at Jones from inside the black car. The witness told police that the passenger ran toward the apartments, and the car pulled out of the parking lot and left.
Jones was with his uncle visiting another relative at the apartment complex when he was shot four times in the face, neck and chest.
Three days after the shooting, an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy in San Leandro spotted Price in a black Lexus. The deputy tried to pull over the Lexus, which was straddling two lanes. The car failed to stop and a pursuit ensued.
The chase ended when Price crashed the vehicle into a home, according to authorities. Four people ran from the crashed vehicle. The deputies captured three of them, including Price, Kelley Trezvant and Deanadranae Campbell.
On Tuesday, the judge told the attorneys she considered the case’s evidence, including four expended shell casings. Two shell casings were found at the shooting scene; the others were found on the crashed Lexus in San Leandro. A state criminalist analyzed the shell casings and determined they were all fired from the same gun.
Silveira said she also considered a statement from a witness who says he heard Barnes tell others after the shooting, “No one call the cops.” That statement supports the allegation that Barnes intended to delay a police response and the identification of the shooter, the judge told the attorneys. The witnesses only gave descriptions of the shooter, no identification.
The judge scheduled the defendants to return to court Jan. 18 for an arraignment hearing. They remain in custody at the county jail.