New hearings start in Grass Valley home invasion case
Four defendants in a home invasion robbery case spent most of the day Tuesday in court for a preliminary hearing into the evidence against them, as well as a motion to suppress some of that evidence.
This was actually the second go-around in the case, after Deputy District Attorney Cambria Lisonbee dismissed and then re-filed all charges against four men facing charges of home invasion robbery, first-degree residential burglary and assault with a semi-automatic firearm in connection with the Nov. 27, 2018, incident in Grass Valley.
Alton E. Edmondson, 38, of Grayson, Georgia; Christopher Brandon Mapp, 29, of Antelope; Giovannie S. Morrison, 37, of Roseville; and Lorne Leroy Scott, 31, of New York City; allegedly tied up the victims at a Pleasant Street residence before robbing them of 97 pounds of marijuana. After the four men fled, authorities said the woman freed herself and contacted police, describing a silver Hyundai as the getaway vehicle.
Placer County sheriff’s deputies received the vehicle description, stopping a silver Nissan at Highway 49 and Dry Creek Road and then stopping a second car, a brown Toyota. Mapp and Scott were in the Nissan, while Morrison and Edmondson were in the Toyota.
The judge has made no decision in the case. The hearing will resume this morning. The four men remained Tuesday in the Nevada County Jail under $500,000 bond each.
Lisonbee chose to start criminal proceedings over on Oct. 31 as the trial was about to get underway, after Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger ruled some of the evidence against Morrison and Edmondson should be suppressed due to an illegal detention.
Defense counsel had argued there was no legal basis for the traffic stop of the second car and the warrantless search of their vehicle.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Melissa Adams testified she was on patrol when she received the be-on-the-lookout advisory for four black men in a silver sedan who were suspects in a robbery. Adams said she saw a silver car matching the description and made a traffic stop as it pulled into a restaurant parking lot. Adams said she could only see two men in the car, and was unsure if the other two men were just not visible.
Deputy Shawn Beckerley testified that he stopped the brown or gold-colored Camry in the same parking lot as it was trying to leave.
“I didn’t notice the vehicle,” he said. “It was more the two black males inside it.”
Beckerley testified that he knew there were only two men in the first vehicle that had been stopped, because Adams had broadcast that fact over the radio.
Deputy Semunuk testified that he assisted Adams in the first traffic stop. He said that after he saw Beckerley stop the second car, he asked Mapp and Scott if it was associated with them and they responded ‘yes.’ At that point, Semunuk said, he told Beckerley to detain the occupants.
The victim, who is not being identified, testified she was at her residence with a friend, Jose Landrua.
Landrua was there so she could fix his phone, she said.
The victim testified she had just started working for a cannabis collective and was serving as the drop-off point for growers. She said that cannabis was in duffel bags and would have been transported to a storage facility after she inventoried it.
At some point, Landrua brought in three or four trash bags of marijuana without her knowledge, she said.
The woman testified that Jose “relentlessly begged me to have his friends come over,” adding that she refused.
Two men she identified as Scott and Edmondson did come to the residence and Landrua “took it upon himself” to let them in, she said. Soon after the two men came in, they pulled her off the bed she was sitting on and Edmondson tied her wrists while Scott pointed a gun to her head, she said. She testified the two men also tied up Landrua and Landrua’s daughter at gunpoint.
The woman testified that at least two other men came in and out of the residence during the robbery.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4236.
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