Attempted murder trial under way
Dressed in a purple button-down shirt, Daniel Lucas Colondres showed little emotion as his trial for attempted murder got under way Tuesday afternoon.
Colondres, 25 at the time, allegedly had been stalking Shanti Reynolds for a period of time before he allegedly broke into her residence in the 14000 block of Lake Wildwood Drive in the gated Lake Wildwood community west of Grass Valley on Aug. 20, 2011.
He allegedly slashed Reynolds and her boyfriend, Taylor George, with a knife before a neighbor drove him off by hitting him with a golf club.
Reynolds testified Tuesday that she first met Colondres, who she called Luke, in 2005, when he was a student in an ROP program at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, where she works as a nurse. Colondres was 19 or 20 at the time, she said, and she was 40.
“I mentored him as a friend,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said she felt sorry for Colondres after his grandfather had died, and she offered to let him stay at her house.
“I was trying to help him get back on his feet,” she said.
But within six months, Colondres started drinking and getting arrested, Reynolds said, adding that she asked him to move out after eight months when he tried to come on to her.
“I lashed out; I punched him in the face,” she said. “I wasn’t interested in that.”
Reynolds said that she lost contact with Colondres, but that he called her in late 2010.
“He said he was having hard times,” she said. “He wanted to come back (to Nevada County) and get a job … I thought it would be OK for a short time.”
Reynolds testified that she agreed to let Colondres stay for two months, but that he needed to find a job and a place to live.
She said she found him several jobs, including one repairing a fence for her best friend, Kendra Bishop.
She teared up while testifying that she eventually learned, during an argument in March 2011, that Kendra Bishop and Colondres were having an affair. Reynolds asked Colondres to move out, she said.
She then testified to a series of incidents that began the next night. Colondres, she said, took her Mazda Miata without permission, but then returned it.
Later that same night, Reynolds said, she saw him in her driveway and then found him inside her bedroom.
She testified that she tried to call 911, but he grabbed the phone from her, then threatened to have his “gang friends” shoot her, before fleeing when she ran downstairs and pushed the panic button on her alarm system. Reynolds said that she tried Tasing Colondres three times, but that it had no effect.
“He got even madder, actually,” she said.
Reynolds said she continued to see Colondres around her property and that she filed for a temporary restraining order against him.
Colondres came again to her house in mid-April, pulling up her solar lights and then coming inside the house with a handkerchief masking his face, she said,
In mid-May, Reynolds said, Colondres came to her house while she was talking to Kendra Bishop’s husband, and challenged him to a fight.
“Luke had a hammer in his hand,” she said.
After John Bishop refused to go outside and fight, Colondres left, she said.
In mid-July, a neighbor called Reynolds to tell her Colondres had been making calls from her residence, she said, adding that she asked neighbor Jeff Love to check.
“He told me Luke was in the house,” she said.
The night of Aug. 19, Reynolds testified that she was at home and asleep in bed with her boyfriend.
She said she woke up around 1 a.m. when her Dachshund ran across the bed.
“I saw a shadow leaning over Taylor (George),” Reynolds said, telling the jury that she was “sure” the masked man was Colondres.
“He had a knife in his hand,” she said. “It was raised over his head.”
Reynolds said she tried to push Colondres away and he punched George in the head about eight times.
“I started screaming, and pushed him, and he pushed me,” she said.
“He said we were all going to die tonight.”
Reynolds said she and George both tried to hold the serrated steak knife away. She sustained knife wounds to her hand, knee and ankle, and said she did not know how those were sustained.
“I started screaming really loud,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t have any weapons … the only thing I could do was scream.”
Pam and Jeff Love, who live next door, did hear her screams and ran to help, she said.
Reynolds testified that she saw Jeff Love hit Colondres twice in the head with a golf club before the assailant fled.
Colondres’ court-appointed attorney, Ken Tribby, is expected to cross-examine Reynolds when the trial resumes at 9 a.m. today.
Colondres faces 13 charges that include attempted murder with a special allegation of great bodily injury, first-degree residential burglary with a person present, stalking with a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon and while armed with deadly weapon, criminal threats, stalking, false imprisonment by violence, dissuading a witness by force or threat, disobeying a protective order, and vandalism.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4229.
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