McKinleyville homicide suspect pleads not guilty

Attorney says man was acting in self-defense


Brian John Leiteritz pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the murder of Dylon T. Liakos over the past weekend in McKinleyville.


Leiteritz, 40, was arrested early Saturday morning after police initially responded to a report of a stabbing at the 1100 block of Boss Road in McKinleyville.

His preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 21 and he remains in custody.

Michael Robinson, Leiteritz’s representation, told reporters the incident Saturday at Leiteritz’s home took place after Leiteritz had received several threatening phone calls from an ex-girlfriend, against whom Leiteritz had previously petitioned a restraining order.

Robinson indicated the previous restraining order had not been enforced.

“There was some concern of ambiguity in the (previous) order that the (Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office) interpreted as mitigating against enforcement,” Robinson said. “Our view is that the interpretation of the sheriff’s department is erroneous. And that’s the polite way of saying it.”

Several assailants entered Leiteritz’s house shortly after his power was cut off, Robinson said. In the ensuing fight, Robinson said, Leiteritz acted to defend himself.

Ahead of his arraignment on Wednesday morning, Leiteritz successfully petitioned a five-year restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, Alicia Rose. Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis granted the new restraining order. Rose was not present at the hearing.

Rose and the victim Liakos were in contact, and Robinson said Liakos was “perhaps” her current boyfriend. Liakos was a resident of Rohnert Park in Sonoma County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Robinson said that in the days since the incident, Rose, 35, has been contacting Leiteritz friends and family. Their interactions have been negative, Robinson said.

Leiteritz has a 19-year-old son who was living with him at the Boss Road residence. His son was not present the night of Liakos’ death, Robinson said.

Close to a dozen friends and family attended Leiteritz’s arraignment to support him. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, Leiteritz blew a kiss at his supporters as he exited the courtroom.

A GoFundMe for Leiteritz’s defense will be published later this week, his loved ones told the Times-Standard.

Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at 707-441-0504.

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