BISBEE — A surveillance video from a popular Sierra Vista Mexican eatery shows a 21-year-old man fatally shooting two people in less than three minutes in the crowded parking lot of the restaurant.
The video of Landan Klein and his girlfriend Honeylynne Garcia getting shot to death outside of Filibertos in the early evening of July 13 was played repeatedly in a courtroom Tuesday at a preliminary hearing to determine if accused killer Devon Neff should be freed from jail on bond as his case makes its way through court.
The brazenness of the shootings in Sierra Vista’s West End during the dinner hour as several patrons could be seen coming and going from the eatery upset assistant prosecutor Lori Zucco, who mentioned that her spouse’s law office was once located in the building that faces the restaurant’s parking area.
Zucco’s voice almost shook with anger as she described the offenses to Cochise County Superior Court Judge Laura Cardinal.
“It’s shocking to me that this happened on Fry Boulevard in our community,” Zucco said.
Zucco also said that Neff “executed Ms. Garcia.”
An amended complaint filed by Zucco was issued against Neff on Monday charging him with 10 counts of violence and drug-related offenses in the deaths of Klein and Garcia, to include two counts of first degree murder, one count of second degree murder and one count of drive-by shooting.
Cardinal found probable cause in nine of the 10 counts lodged against Neff and said the defendant is a danger to the Sierra Vista community. She ordered him held without bond.
It was revealed in court Tuesday that Neff, Klein and Garcia were involved in a “criminal enterprise” that included the manufacture and sale of marijuana, Zucco said. The relationship was such that Klein even paid for Neff to move to Arizona from California so that Neff could sell marijuana for him.
Investigators found evidence of that enterprise when they searched both Neff’s and Klein’s residences after the shootings, officials said.
The partnership soured however, when Neff assumed a debt owed to Klein by a cousin of Neff’s, Sierra Vista Police Detective Thomas Ransford said Tuesday. Klein was owed $2,000 by the cousin and Neff said he had paid him $1,500. But the debt kept growing, Neff told police, because Klein “fronted” more marijuana to Neff and the suspect failed to give him the money from the sales.
The situation exploded on July 13 when Neff and his girlfriend were at the drive-thru line at Filibertos waiting to place a dinner order just before 7 p.m. The surveillance video shows another driver coming into the parking lot in the wrong direction and parking next to Neff’s white Dodge Challenger, the cars facing in opposite directions.
The driver of the other vehicle, a Chrysler, gets out of the car and walks over to Neff on the driver’s side of the Dodge. Ransford identified the man as Klein. The latter was upset that Neff owed him money and he wanted to be paid at that moment, according to court testimony.
Neff said he had no money and suggested that they resolve the matter elsewhere, Ransford said. At that point, the surveillance camera in the parking lot captures Klein punching Neff in the face two or three times. Following that, Neff shoots Klein twice from inside his car. Klein almost doubles over and bolts across the parking lot.
Neff emerges from his vehicle, looks in the direction where Klein ran, but then quickly turns and looks at the front passenger door of Klein’s car as it begins to open. Garcia was in the passenger’s seat and police said Neff shot her twice in the head. The video then shows Neff quickly duck into his car and then come out again and fire at Garcia four more times, Ransford said.
The detective explained that Neff’s .40 caliber Glock pistol had jammed and he was adjusting it before he continued shooting at Garcia.
Both Neff and his girlfriend, who was with him in his car, later told police that Garcia had pointed a gun at them while she was sitting in Klein’s vehicle. But Ransford said the gun that was found in Garcia’s purse, a .380 caliber pistol, was deep at the bottom of the bag and it had the safety on it.
“There was no blood on her gun,” Ransford said.
Images of a bloodied Klein and Garcia were shown on a large TV screen in the courtroom. Garcia died at the scene, and Klein later succumbed to his injuries at Canyon Vista Medical Center. Neff was treated at the hospital, as well, for cuts on his face.
Cochise County Legal Advocate Xochitil Orozco, who is defending Neff, said Klein was wearing large gold rings on his hands when he struck Neff in the face. She likened the rings to brass knuckles.
Orozco also argued that it’s possible that Garcia had pointed her handgun at both Neff and his girlfriend, even though the weapon was found at the bottom of her purse.
Using the same TV screen in the courtroom, Orozco also focused on Klein’s and Garcia’s social media which showed both waving around wads of cash and flashy jewelry, which Ransford referred to as “bling.” Orozco also pointed out Klein’s gold grill and showed social media videos of him pointing firearms at a camera.
At one point, Orozco said her client was afraid of Klein.
Regardless, both Cardinal and Zucco said that Neff could have driven away from the Filibertos parking lot after he was pummeled by Klein. At the very least, he could have left the area after shooting Klein, they said. Neff has maintained from the beginning that he shot both in self-defense.
Zucco posed the possibility that Neff killed Garcia because he wanted to eliminate the eyewitness to Klein’s shooting.
During the hearing Tuesday, which lasted most of the day, a handcuffed and bespectacled Neff sat next to Orozco. He occasionally gazed around the courtroom and sometimes nodded his head in agreement based on what was being said in court. He showed no emotion when photos of Garcia and Klein came across the TV screen.
Ransford said Tuesday that when he was interviewing Neff after the suspect called in to surrender, he found it interesting that Neff seemed more concerned about a dog he was caring for that belonged to his mother than what had just happened at Filibertos.
Neff is expected back in court on Sept. 21. The case has been designated a “complex” matter by Cardinal because of the volume of evidence involved, as well as the number of witnesses who were at the restaurant when the shootings occurred. That means the attorneys have more time to prepare for a trial.