Ex-Police Officer Testifies in Slayings of Brentwood Couple

Times Staff Writer

Fourteen months before Gerald and Vera Woodman were killed in their Brentwood garage, their son, Neil, hired two armed retired police officers to prevent his parents from attending their grandson’s bar mitzvah, one of the former officers testified Monday.

The witness said that Neil Woodman was present when another man--Steven M. Homick--told the two retired officers he wanted to be alerted immediately if the grandparents showed up at the bar mitzvah.

Homick “made a statement to the effect that, if necessary, he’d waste them if he had to,” according to the witness, Jean Scherrer.


Scherrer’s testimony opened a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Municipal Court for five defendants accused of murdering the Woodmans, who were killed in a hail of bullets last Sept. 25 as they returned home from a post-Yom Kippur dinner.

The prosecution contends that Steven Homick, 45, of Las Vegas was hired as a hit man by Neil Woodman, 42, of Encino, and his brother Stewart, 41, of Hidden Hills. The Woodman sons are accused of arranging to have their parents killed to collect on a $500,000 insurance policy and use the proceeds to save their failing plastics business.

Also charged in the Woodmans’ death are Steven Homick’s brother Robert, 35, and Anthony (Sunny) Majoy, 47, of Reseda. A sixth defendant, Michael Lee Dominguez, 27, also of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty last Friday to two counts of first-degree murder.

On Monday, Scherrer, who said he retired in 1979 after more than 30 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, described a meeting during which the two ex-officers agreed to work as security guards at the July 14, 1984 bar mitzvah of Neil Woodman’s son at Temple Judea in Tarzana. Steven Homick told them that the Woodman brothers were having “severe problems” with their parents arising from a long-standing dispute over who was to control the family business, the witness said.

In their questioning, defense attorneys pointed out that Scherrer seemed eager to partake in a $50,000 reward offered by friends and family members for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the Woodmans’ killers. The defense attorneys also wondered why Scherrer did not call police after Steven Homick allegedly indicated he was willing to “waste” Gerald Woodman, 67, and his wife, Vera, 63. The retired police officer said Homick made the statement while they were touring the temple grounds on the day of the bar mitzvah.

Scherrer said he took the threat seriously but saw no reason to report it. “Nothing happened so I felt no need to,” he said.


Subsequently, Scherrer said, he did tell another police officer that he suspected Steven Homick had ties to organized crime. Homick was indicted last week by a grand jury in Nevada on three counts of murder and is under investigation there for another killing.

Even though he was suspicious of Steven Homick, Scherrer testified, he accepted another job from him a few months after the bar mitzvah to install intercom equipment at the Woodmans’ plastics firm, Manchester Products.

The preliminary hearing, before Judge Sandy R. Kriegler, is expected to last three weeks, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. John Krayniak. Kriegler will decide if there is enough evidence for any or all of the defendants to stand trial.