GUILTY CA - Gianni, 24, & Sal Belvedere, 22, Ilona Flint, 22, San Diego, 24 Dec 2013 - #3

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by bessie, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Barbarella

    Barbarella New Member

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    Can someone remind me if they ever found Sal's phone? From what I recall and correct me if I have this wrong - when the police arrived at the crime scene in the mall parking lot they found that Sal's car keys and cell phone were missing, right? So, if CM took the cell phone, it could also be to cover up any calls or text messages that may have been sent to Sal from CM or another accomplice. Could it be that maybe CM sent a message (call or text) to Sal saying (for example) that "Gianni wants you to wait for him" or maybe "if you want to know what happened to Gianni, wait in the parking lot" - something to make them wait there so CM could then kill them?
     
  2. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    It was quite quickly afterward.

    There were also several descriptions. It started with the one that looked like his, changed / had another possible, and ended up with the one similar to Gianni's again.

    I can't get to it all right now but I'll try later tomorrow or Thursday otherwise, but here at the bottom is the car part from one of my posts earlier on about part off the car bit.

    Also, there had been an earlier shooting that day and the car description was similar. They had also appeared to have been floating the possibility of them being related, but only briefly (and seemingly loosely, or at least as far as I could tell)


     
  3. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    After hearing the phone and keys were missing, I still wonder if CM basically held them up at the car, and took the keys and Sals phone.

    That would have probably helped keep them there so he could then kill them more easily since they'd not to be able to drive away (especially if he wasn't sure they were dead and might be able to get help)

    It could explain both of those items still being MIA. Plus why we've not heard they had any evidence of CM being in the car or touching it etc, which he'd have needed to do to get them otherwise

    They almost had to see him coming since he seemed to have come from the same area Ilona did, per video. And that was toward where it all took place and would have been harder to sneak up on.

    But if he had a gun aimed at them, you could see how some might hope if they didn't try to drive away that he might "only" take things and not shoot if they gave into his demands.

    Plus that could explain Ilona being on the phone just having dialed 911 when THEN she is shot. (As well as why she did,t mention Sal being there OR him having been shot)
     
  4. TravelingBug

    TravelingBug Verified Insider

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    Admittedly I still can't figure out why they'd use the spot the did to supposedly pick Ilona up. Especially late at night having been closing, let alone THAT late at night and when only one place had still been open.

    She was a tiny and young woman and they absolutely could have been closer, especially at that time of night, to watch for her. And they could have pulled right up to the curb to wait.

    Or at least been sure they were facing where she left from to be able to watch from her since I'm sure employees don't always walk out together. In which case it's be likely one would have seen CM coming. As Sal would have at least seem him walk out behind her.

    And Ilona likely would have also - and if she had, that the guy who he had approached her earlier was STILL around when nothing was open. Which you'd think would make her suspicious...and heck maybe enough so to perhaps be dialing 911.

    But I could see using that area if they had a 'transaction' so to speak.

    In which case except at Christmas when the Pinery is there or fall with the pumpkins, its a very low traffic area later in the day and especially at night. broken Yolk right there at 3 pm. Plus the weird inflatable thing place is rarely up so also low traffic.

    And THAT could make it a good spot for a dual purpose to legitimately be going to the mall without arousing suspicion since Ilona hd to get to / from home, and below traffic area to be more discrete with possible transactions.
     
  5. Philigumbo

    Philigumbo Verified registered nurse

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    TY! I agree, SDHELPS! So much we don't know!
     
  6. Philigumbo

    Philigumbo Verified registered nurse

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    SB's phone and the keys to the car he was driving (his father's) weren't found. I don't think they could leave. I think CM had already taken them. I just don't see him rummaging around in the car for the phone and keys after shooting them. I don't think he would have had time, and why take them after shooting them both in the head?
     
  7. SurfieTX

    SurfieTX Active Member

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    BBM: That's a million dollar question to me if both Gianni's and Sal's phones were never recovered. People, especially young people, keep a LOT of information and contacts on their phones. Add in the fact that Sal's keys would open the home door locks and ??
     
  8. jggordo

    jggordo Well-Known Member

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    So are the remaining SWs still under seal or is it that MSM does not want to pay for the 50 cents per page for copying? I realize the probable cause and LE qualifications may be redundant, but the parent pages should be informative. I would think the donations to Justice for the kids could afford to cover that.

    JMO
     
  9. kimmypie1

    kimmypie1 Member

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    Regarding the keys and such, I picture it happening like this:

    CM, Sal and Ilona are having a discussion/event/interaction of some kind at the car. Sal attempts to drive off and CM shoots him, turns off the car and grabs the keys. This would explain why the car was at such a weird angle for being parked.

    Ilona then calls 911 and CM walks over to her side of the car and shoots her.

    I am starting to think they weren't meant to be killed and then when Sal started to drive away it became necessary.

    I wish we knew Gianni's time of death. Part of me is starting to think he was being held captive (not yet dead) and there was supposed to be some sort of ransom involved and then the plan totally went haywire. JMO
     
  10. SurfieTX

    SurfieTX Active Member

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    IF Gianni's phone was not recovered in his car/on his person and we know that Sal's was not, I think that's a fairly big detail. CM didn't bother taking Ilona's phone, which he could have done probably pretty easily as it was presumably in her hand or close by. It's just a little detail that has been nagging at me and doesn't fit the "assassin" picture. It reeks of too much risk.
     
  11. tvscum

    tvscum Member

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    The big problem is none of these details can be confirmed and it makes it extremely difficult to nail down whether CM acted alone or had an accomplice.

    WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
    1) the guy in the mall surveillance video has not been confirmed as the killer.
    2) it has not been confirmed that the killer actually got into the car seen driving away.
    3) it has not been confirmed the killer got into the passenger side of that vehicle.
    4) the make and model of that vehicle has not been confirmed, but the two witnesses say it was Civic (and they both owned Civics).
    5) it has not been confirmed whether there were one or two people in the vehicle seen driving away.
    6) we don't know if the killer drove away from the crime scene in Gianni's vehicle or some other vehicle.

    WHAT WE KNOW:
    1) Sal's keys and cell phone were not recovered.
    2) Gianni's cell phone was not recovered.
    3) CM DNA was found on Gianni's vehicle, including on the gas cap.
    4) CM purchased a white SUV in Riverside.

    It seems logical to assume that CM drove Gianni's car up to Riverside at some point in time. It does not appear that some unnamed accomplice drove the vehicle to Riverside.

    None of the 38 warrants are sealed. Anybody can view the search warrants at downtown San Diego court for free. Taking photos of the warrants with smart phones is not allowed. The MSM does not want to pay .50 per page for 700 pages of warrants that simply have the same affidavits. However, you are correct, there are additional phone numbers, bank account numbers, and return inventories attached to some of these warrants that we have not seen.
     
  12. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    Thanks, tvscum.

    Trying to piece together where Gianni's car was hidden, I imagined it got taken to someone's house with a garage nearby maybe before the other shootings in the mall parking lot, but I got caught up in whether Gianni's car was seen headed westbound before or after IF and SB were shot. Nothing is confirmed on that.

    I went looking for where I got the notion that Gianni's car was spotted headed westbound soon after, but I couldn't find it. So, it is not fact, but I remember the westbound part.

    In the meantime, I ran across the article saying Ilona did keep making phone calls to Gianni, and later to hospitals and the jails.

     
  13. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    Snipped from your Post #975 in Thread#2, tvscum. Hope you don't mind. Good info to think about.
    I can see that there's still unanswered questions and some confusion with the witnesses, and they may have been mistaken. I would think the defense will use whatever isn't nailed down.

     
  14. obmama

    obmama New Member

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    CM's original attorney, Michael Berg, was replaced by public defender Gary Gibson. In an attempt to understand what prompted this, I did a little research on what defense attorneys want to know . . .
    the truth, but not necessarily the whole truth. Don't lie, but think very hard about what to say and what's best left to the imagination. Attorneys cannot present evidence or arguments that they know to be false, only focus on the holes in the prosecutor’s evidence.

    It seems Berg represented CM in the illegal weapons case until shortly after it escalated to triple murder. Berg "has handled nearly 40 homicide cases during his 28 years of criminal defense work", so I wonder if CM's family can't afford or won't pay for his defense.

    Berg is honored as a "Super Lawyer", who "lawyers, judges and other legal professionals constantly request represent them when they are in trouble." He obviously earned the respect of his peers. Not so much the brother of a former client convicted of murder, because Berg discredited his client's alibi by disallowing witness testimony. Exemplifies the answer to "What should I tell my lawyer?" and a testament to Berg's ethics.

    I went back to Berg's comments in early news reports, curious what CM may have told him, or did not tell him, and if it led to Berg declining to represent him or recommending a public defender. Links are only for quotations unavailable on multiple news sites, to avoid "clutter" and make for easy reading.

    June 25, 2014
    http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/06/25/triple-murder-suspect-could-face-death-da-says/
    "A status conference was scheduled July 10 to see if Berg will remain on the case."

    July 17, 2014
    http://globalnation.inquirer.net/10...f-3-murders-risks-death-penalty#ixzz3CwfO5LtI
    "A Filipino man suspected of killing three people and could face the death penalty is asking for a public defender to represent him in court."

    "Mercado’s previous lawyer, Michael Berg, told reporters that the defense team was not provided with further details as to the evidence the police has that led them to believe that the defendant is responsible for the killings."

    "I don't know what kind of a case they've built against him; a weak case, strong case. I'm just waiting until [Wednesday] so the district attorney will reveal to me as well as the rest of the public what they exactly have against my client."

    “There’s been no formal document charging him with any crime. He was simply arrested. There has been no evidence that I have seen that would relate him to any of the crimes,”

    "Not knowing the prosecution's theory on Mercado's alleged motive in the triple murder is making it hard to defend him."

    "It's extremely frustrating. It's more frustrating than you can imagine. I'm defending an individual in a triple homicide, and I have no idea what ties him to it."

    "Attorney Berg said there is no connection between the prior weapons charge and the murders. Mercado -- whom he called a gun aficionado -- was found with two pistols and an assault rifle in his car on Jan. 18 after target practice. Mercado pleaded guilty to possession of a silencer and was scheduled to be sentenced on that case next month . . . *said he was on his way to target practice."

    "The attorney said he didn't know if prosecutors were alleging that Mercado's guns were used in the killings. "It is certainly is a far cry for someone who owns guns and target shoots and the next logical step is a triple homicide, . . . said Mercado was *coming home from target practice when he was stopped at the checkpoint."

    *Contradiction - "on his way" or "coming home"? And, a lie, unless he was "target practicing" in the dark at an illegal shooting range. It was 4:45 a.m., outside the normal operating hours of recreational shooting ranges.

    "Carlo Mercado is a very quiet, soft spoken individual. He’s certainly shocked at the situation and his family is quite shocked too…stressed out, obviously, and they are concerned but they are behind him 100 percent,”

    “[Mercado] adamantly denies any involvement [of the triple murders] and the two of us are looking forward to seeing what evidence the pressing agency has against him,"

    Even Berg was caught off guard by this arrest. “It’s unusual because this is a young man with no prior record. He doesn’t fit the mold. I haven’t seen anything that would tie him to these homicides, to the victims,” said Berg.

    "He said Mercado was hospitalized under guard Sunday after being injured in the county jail. Berg declined to say what happened to his client."

    Comments made by Public Defender Gary Gibson . . .
    "told the judge that Mercado had the gun used to shoot the victims, but beyond that, there were still many unanswered questions as to who killed the three."

    "acknowledged that his client was involved in some way in Gianni Belvedere's murder, but told the judge it was frightening to think that Mercado faced a possible death sentence with the evidence presented regarding the other two killings."

    “What we don't know says more about this case then what we do know. In some respects, this case is still unsolved,”

    “All of the DNA that was processed, not linked to Carlo Mercado. All the prints processed, no link to Carlo Mercado. All of the trace evidence taken from that scene showed no link to Carlo Mercado,”

    “Right now we have a gentleman that’s been charged in a triple homicide but at this point in time we don’t know any of the facts and circumstances of this case. There’s been no motive that’s been alleged, there’s nothing that’s come out that’s tied him to these homicides,”
     
  15. geevee

    geevee Well-Known Stickie

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    BBM - We had a scanner thread going for a little while, was it there? I've haven't reread it but it might be worth giving it a look-at.
     
  16. Curious Me

    Curious Me Long-Time Member from back in the day

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    Actually, now, it seems that there's a lot of evidence that ties these crimes to CM. If they can pin down motive and some connections it could definitely be a DP trial.

    MOO
     
  17. obmama

    obmama New Member

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    gianni's 2004 Toyota Camry.jpg
    Hoping my attachment of Gianni's car was successful.
    EDIT: Yeah, it worked!

    I think the 2 witnesses misidentified a "waiting" Honda Civic (previously described as dark gray, 2008-2011), and it was Gianni's dark green Toyoto Camry. The fact they both drive Honda Civics is here for a reason . . . they saw a car that resembled theirs. There's nothing distinct between a Camry and a Civic, or dark green and dark gray, in the dark.

    I also believe they misidentified the man getting into the passenger side of a "Honda" as Gianni, and it was actually CM getting in the back seat of Gianni's 4 door Toyota. They may have recognized Gianni, slumped over in the front passenger seat, where his blood was discovered. The original description was possibly a black man, CM is dark complected. They also described "dark curly hair" - it's likely CM's hair was shorter than it is now (attempt to disguise himself?) and he was sweating, which can cause hair to crop into a curly look by sticking to a forehead.

    Taking into consideration how distraught they must've been, as first responders in a medical emergency, I imagine everything was a blur and they could be easily mistaken between the similarities of vehicles and persons.

    If CM entered the passenger side and crouched down in the backseat, and Gianni was in the front passenger seat, the driver is an unidentified suspect who CM is protecting, possibly the person CM called while he watched Ilona.

    It still doesn't answer why CM and a possible accomplice hung around 1 1/2 hours, why CM approached Ilona and put himself in a position of being identified when Gianni was discovered murdered, unless CM thought she or Sal knew circumstances that put Gianni at risk. Why she called 3 local hospitals, county jail and 911 is the key to motive and who the suspects are.
     
  18. thebestinthewest

    thebestinthewest Verified insider - Gianni Belvedere case

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    I think you are correct. The family always picked Ilona up at the same spot and Gianni had never been late he would always arrive early in case she was able to leave early even by a few min. From what I hear he was really protective of her and his sisters all well as most brothers and boyfriends/fiances tend to be. I asked the family of Gianni if he had a pass code on his phone and he did not there was no reason for it. Personally the only time I had a code on my phone is when I was single and dating. So that means CM may have killed Gianni and took over his phone and saw pictures of Ilona or read text messages? it's all baffling and I just don't know that many assassins to ask their opinion for some reason that career choice isn't too popular
     
  19. thebestinthewest

    thebestinthewest Verified insider - Gianni Belvedere case

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    SDHELPS: I thought my boyfriend had Aspergers turns out he is just a normal engineer who would have thunk it!? Haha he did have all the symptoms and the math skills of mathematics genius. The best was when he figured out I was trying to figure out if he had it. Maybe I have it errr no I'm just a high functioning wino without a filter
     
  20. geevee

    geevee Well-Known Stickie

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