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Hearing on killing delayed

A hearing to challenge murder and arson evidence against a pair of Nevada County men has been rescheduled.

David A. Burke II, 24, and David Leffingwell, 24, are charged in the July killing of James Vannberg, 26. A third defendant, Heather Gereau-Baer, 21, is charged as an accomplice to murder.

A preliminary hearing to determine if there’s probable cause to uphold the charges against Burke and Leffingwell had been scheduled for Tuesday.



It was reset for Dec. 3 because Leffingwell recently dropped his court-appointed lawyer, Greg Klein, and hired Michael Phillips.

Gereau-Baer has waived her right to a preliminary hearing and is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 15.




“Her case is completely separate,” said Ron MacMillen, Gereau-Baer’s court-appointed lawyer. “I feel her case could better be resolved by separating them at this point.”

There are conflicting accounts of Vannberg’s July 10 killing.

Leffingwell allegedly told the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office that Burke beat Vannberg with a crow bar at South Yuba Campground, drove over him with his own vehicle, drove him to a nearby location, struck him again, and left him for dead.

Burke and Leffingwell, with Gereau-Baer along, then allegedly burned Vannberg’s vehicle near Greenhorn Creek, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Burke has said he wasn’t responsible, and that he left the campground at Leffingwell’s urging after hearing Vannberg scream.


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