Investigators say acquaintances bound, gagged San Francisco couple
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:18 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
SAN FRANCISCO — A man who died after being beaten, shot, and bound and gagged in San Francisco had planned to relocate to the city from Georgia, a relative said.
Stephen Reid, 26, died Monday at a hospital hours after he and his girlfriend were found tied up in the middle of a street.
Police suspect they were victims of a brutal home invasion Sunday by a group of acquaintances in the city's Visitacion Valley neighborhood.
Reid had arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in October and started dating the 18-year-old woman, his sister, Nicole Reid, told the San Francisco Chronicle,
His girlfriend is expected to survive her injuries.
District Attorney George Gascon has declined to reveal a motive but revealed Wednesday that the couple knew several suspects who were arrested on Tuesday. More suspects and arrests are likely, he said.
"The facts of this case read like a movie script and are very disturbing," Gascon said. "It is important for the public to know that this was not a random act, as the victims and defendants knew one another.
"The story here is very complicated," he added.
Four suspects, Vincent Bell, 31, Montrail Brackens, 21; Heather Leach, 24, and Maryann Manalastas, 22, all pleaded not guilty to murder, accessory to murder, assault and conspiracy charges during their arraignments on Wednesday.
Bell, Brackens and Leach remained in jail on $2 million bail, while Manalastas was being held on $500,000 bail.
A fifth suspect, Tyler Miller, 19, was released on $15,000 and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday. It was not immediately known if he has an attorney.
Reid's sister told the newspaper her family has no clue why anybody would leave her brother bleeding in the street.
"I talked to him Sunday afternoon," Nicole Reid said. "He had plans to come home (the next day). He had a plane ticket. I guess that night, he had gone out with the girl one last time."
Investigators believe the attackers stormed the house where the couple was staying. Brackens and Bell assaulted Reid and tied his hands behind his back, according to a criminal complaint, as Leach and Manalastas assaulted Reid's girlfriend in a bedroom, where she was hog-tied and gagged with a sock.
The couple was then put in an SUV, where Reid was shot in the neck and the couple was dumped along an unlit sidewalk about a half a mile away, authorities said.
"They were overpowered and whether it was done to send a message is still unclear," Gascon said after the arraignment.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com
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