Teen witness describes events before fatal stabbing in Eureka cemetery

Hearing held for woman accused in 16-year-old's homicide

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A 15-year-old girl present during a violent altercation that led to the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old Eureka boy in August 2018 was the lone witness called to the stand today during day one of a preliminary hearing in Humboldt County Superior Court.

Leen

The girl, identified only as Jane Doe, was called by Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees, who questioned her about her actions on Aug. 9, 2018, the day Brandon Brocious was found fatally stabbed in the Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka.

Leen has been charged with homicide along with her son, Christopher Sterling, who was 15 years old at the time of Brocious’s death.

Doe said she knew Leen as the mother of her boyfriend, Christopher Sterling. Doe testified she awoke Aug. 9 to discover her phone had been stolen while she and Brocious slept.

“I thought it was by my side,” Doe testified about discovering her phone was missing. “Jordan (identified by Doe as Sterling’s brother) told me Chris had been over.”

Doe described other items that had been taken from her backpack — Sharpies and torch lighters — and when asked how she could identify those things, Doe responded, “(Chris) and his mom got them for me.”

Doe testified she had previously dated Chris and, at the time of the incident that claimed Brocious’s life, she had been dating him for just a few days.

Doe testified she and Brocious met up at the cemetery where they found Leen’s tent. Doe testified the two of them hid some items belonging to the mother and son as payback. She added she saw a necklace she purchased for Brocious in Leen’s tent. Following that, she testified, the two of them met up with Sterling.

Relatives of Brocious were in court for the hearing.

Leen is being held on $1 million bail and remains in the Humboldt County jail. The preliminary hearing continues Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in courtroom 6.

Dan Squier can be reached at 707-441-0528.

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