Sacto 9-1-1
October 3, 2011
Sacramento trial begins for three in death of Natomas coach

The Sacramento County prosecutor said it was a "simple case" -- four people set out to rob a pot dealer and wound up killing a popular assistant coach at Natomas High School.

Two of the three defense lawyers countered that the key witness in the case can't be trusted and that their clients will be exonerated.

Testimony then got under way after the opening statements in the murder trial of Dejon Wayne Murray, 19, Kenneth Oliver Owens Jr., 24, and Maurice Edward Reed, 21.

They are accused in the March 26, 2010, shooting death of Salvador Heredia-Arriaga, a substitute teacher and coach at Natomas High School who also went to law school at nights.

Deputy District Attorney Kevin Greene told the three juries gathered in Sacramento Superior Court that the three defendants were robbing a marijuana dealer in his River Plaza Drive apartment when Heredia-Arriaga came over to see his friends and was shot to death in their living room.

A fourth member of the robbery, Tamika Reed, 29, has since pleaded no contest to accessory and grand theft charges. She is slated to appear as the key prosecution witness.

In their opening statements, Murray's attorney, Alice Michel, and Owens' defense lawyer, Frances Huey, both attacked Tamika Reed's credibility. MIchel said the deal Reed got from the D.A.'s office makes her testimony suspicous. Huey called Reed "a liar."

Testimony will resume this afternoon in front of Judge Patrick Marlette.

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