An evening of drinking and drugs descended into a grisly, lethal confrontation that ended in the shooting deaths of three young women in Pasadena, court documents filed in the case reveal.
Filed in Pasadena Municipal Court in support of murder charges brought against two suspects, the documents are reports of investigations conducted by detectives at the murder scene and their interviews of witnesses and suspects.
"I just killed my girlfriend," a witness quoted one of the suspects, David Adkins, 16, as saying, according to court documents.
"Yeah, dude, we smoked 'em all," the witness quoted the other suspect, Burt Vinny Hebrock, 17.
Adkins and Hebrock were arrested in Salem, Ore., where they had fled after the shootings last week. They waived extradition and returned to Pasadena on Tuesday evening to face charges on three counts of murder each.
Investigators gave no motive for the shootings, but their reports sketch a portrait of teen-agers with plenty of time and money--privileged youngsters drawn to petty crime, drugs and alcohol.
An afternoon and evening of partying--a frequent diversion at the pool house behind 17-year-old Katherine Macaulay's family home in the wealthy Annandale neighborhood above the Rose Bowl--turned to tragedy when Macaulay, Heather Goodwin, 18, of San Marino, and Danae Palermo, 17, of Alhambra were shot to death late Thursday or early Friday.
Along with the interviews of Adkins and Hebrock, investigators stitched together their scenario of the bloody evening in interviews with a teen-age boy who witnessed the killings, neighbors and a young woman who said teen-agers regularly drank beer and smoked marijuana at Macaulay's pool house--known to their circle of friends as "Kathy's house."
According to the documents, the teen-agers began drinking and smoking marijuana Thursday afternoon, witness Cayle Fielder, 16, of Alhambra told police. By early evening, he said, they had drunk a case of beer and a bottle of whiskey--and were thirsty for more.
Fielder said he, Adkins and Macaulay went out for a second case of beer, adding that he was so drunk he spilled food on himself when the group stopped at a fast-food restaurant. He said he had drunk only one beer but most of the whiskey.
While that group was gone, Hebrock told police, he argued with Goodwin and Palermo in the pool house. He said he ended up with a scratch on his neck and a bruised arm. He added that Goodwin kicked him in the groin, which angered him.
When Fielder, Macaulay and Adkins returned, the party mood had ended but the drinking resumed. Goodwin and Palermo were lying on the bed, Fielder said, and he lay beside them and fell asleep. He told police he recalled Adkins and Hebrock leaving.
Hebrock told police Adkins ordered him to get a shotgun from the main house and load it. About 10:15 p.m., a neighbor told police, he heard a youth shout, "Bring your gun over here, dude."
About an hour after the three teen-agers who had gone out for beer returned, Adkins went into a rage, screamed an obscenity and began the killing, the court documents say.
Fielder said the blasts from the shotgun awakened him. He then saw Adkins shoot Palermo, the last of the victims, court documents say. Adkins then reloaded, Fielder said, pumped the shotgun and took aim at him.
"Are you down with us, or are you dead?" Adkins demanded repeatedly, Fielder said. Looking down the barrel of the gun, Fielder answered that he was with them.
"I just killed my girlfriend," Adkins said, referring to Macaulay, although he later told investigators that Hebrock had killed her.
"Yeah, dude, we smoked 'em all," said Hebrock.
Hebrock also told police that he had killed Macaulay, before passing the gun to Adkins, who shot Goodwin and Palermo, according to court documents. Each young woman was shot once in the head, a coroner's spokesman said.
Fearing that police would arrive immediately and Adkins would get into a gun battle, Fielder said he urged the two teen-agers to flee. When Adkins and Hebrock said they were going to Mexico, Fielder said he told them to "take me home and I'll cover you guys the best that I can."
Adkins drove Fielder home in a 1986 Mercedes-Benz belonging to Macaulay's parents--threatening to kill him if he told police, Fielder said. Adkins and Hebrock then headed to Oregon, where Adkins had relatives. They were arrested there Friday.
Fielder told his father of the killings and threats, and his father put him on a plane to Seattle to join his mother, Fielder said. Before leaving, he said he stopped at the home of Peggy Shurtleff, 19, of South Pasadena, a close friend of him and the victims, to tell her about the killings.
Shurtleff said she phoned Goodwin's father, who notified police, court documents said.
On the day of the murders, Macaulay had picked up Fielder and Palermo at their homes in her Ford Bronco, Fielder said. At 5 foot 8 and 220 pounds, Fielder looks older than his age, enabling him to buy the case of beer and bottle of whiskey, court documents said.
When the three arrived at the pool house in the back of the Fairlawn Way home of Michael Koss and Linda Macaulay, Katherine's stepfather and mother, Hebrock and Adkins were already there, Fielder said. The youths smoked marijuana that Palermo had brought, he said. Adkins told police the group also took LSD.
Macaulay was often left alone on the family estate when her mother and stepfather were away, her friends told investigators. Shurtleff told police that Adkins and Hebrock had been living in the pool house for several weeks before the killings.
Neighbors told investigators that they frequently saw Adkins drive up to the house on his red moped and enter the back entrance.
A bathroom door in the pool house was off its hinges because it had been broken down six months earlier by partying teens who wanted to join others in the bathroom smoking marijuana, Fielder told police.
Fielder, Adkins and Hebrock had arrest records for burglary, the investigators' reports say. Fielder told police Adkins' moped was used in some of those crimes, and Hebrock said he and Adkins had used the moped in a Pasadena purse-snatching a week before the killings.
Police initially said they would seek the death penalty against Adkins and Hebrock. But Pasadena Deputy Dist. Atty. David Disco said Tuesday the maximum sentence for youths under 18 is life in prison without parole. Disco said the district attorney's office will seek to try the two as adults.
Times staff writer Edmund Newton contributed to this report.