Saturday, September 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Reluctant witness tells his side in Fairfield double-homicide

By
From page A3 | February 14, 2013 |

Marcel Rutherford-Chew

Marcel Rutherford-Chew

FAIRFIELD — The man who shot and killed two men in a Fairfield drug deal gone bad told his story of self-defense Wednesday, changing his story by the minute.

Blake Johnson said that he returned fire at two men who robbed him and then fired shots at him March 7, 2012, in Parkway Gardens. Exactly who those men were and the events surrounding the shooting was described several different ways by Johnson during several hours of testimony in the first day of a preliminary hearing for suspect Marcel Rutherford-Chew.

Rutherford-Chew is accused of committing a crime that led to the deaths of his cousin Vedell Chew and associate Bernard Knight. Rutherford-Chew has pleaded not guilty.

Johnson was originally arrested in connection to the crime, but is now a witness for the prosecution. His testimony began by invoking his Fifth Amendment rights. After being informed that he was being given immunity for his testimony, he then said he didn’t want to answer questions.

Judge E. Bradley Nelson repeatedly ordered Johnson to answer the questions before threatening to hold Johnson in contempt of court. After meeting with his attorney, Johnson returned to the stand.

Rutherford-Chew went to Parkway Gardens with three other men to purchase marijuana from an associate of Johnson. At some point during the deal, Johnson said, two of the men approached him. He said they both pointed guns at him and snatched a gold medallion from his neck.

Johnson testified Wednesday that shots were fired at him as the two men were walking away after the robbery. His account of how many men shot at him and their identity changed throughout the testimony.

Johnson eventually said Rutherford-Chew and Knight were the two who robbed him at gunpoint after defense attorney Robert Warshawsky repeatedly asked for the truth in the final minutes of the day’s hearing.

What Johnson could clearly explain was that he was in fear for his life and started shooting in self-defense. He testified that he never intended to the kill the men and blacked out during the exchange of gunfire, preventing a clear memory of the events.

“I thought my life was over with,” Johnson said.

Johnson told the court that he eventually drove to the East Coast and threw the gun in the Atlantic Ocean. When questioned, he could not recall which state he visited, what car he drove or how he returned to California.

Prosecutor Barry Taira asked if Johnson remembered telling investigators that he threw the gun off the Benicia Bridge. Johnson said he didn’t remember saying that.

Warshawsky’s cross-examination focused on Johnson’s subsequent arrests in connection to alleged gun offenses. Johnson was arrested in October during a car stop on suspicion of a felony offense for possessing a loaded firearm. Johnson was out of jail on bail for a similar alleged felony offense at the time of the car stop and his arrest, according to court records.

Warshawsky also talked about a search of Johnson’s home in November that turned up more weapons and ammunition.

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or dbernardini@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.

Danny Bernardini

Danny Bernardini

Danny is a newspaper man born and raised in Vacaville. He attended Chico State University and has written for the Enterprise Record and the Reporter. Covers the City of Fairfield, education and crime. A's, Warriors and Saints fan. Listener of vinyl, frequent visitor to the East Bay. Registered "decline to state" voter. Loves a good steak.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • GemmaFebruary 14, 2013 - 4:56 am

    I guess the courts are getting what they deserve with this one! I'll NEVER understand how ONE person was the SOLE SUSPECT,who then became the STAR WITNESS,AFTER he continued to catch cases while free after the initial case! Now he's making the DA's office look like the fools they are! Watch-he'll walk, just like all the other dope dealers and wanna be thugs.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • What TheFebruary 14, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    The COURTS are getting what they deserve??? What did the courts do to lead to a double homicide?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3