Police say Menard changed his story in family slayings

Police say Menard changed his story in family slayings

first_imgIn the backyard, police discovered Menard’s little sister, Ashley, 16, stabbed repeatedly in the back of the neck. She wore a black tank top, stretch pants and socks, a cordless phone abandoned near her feet. Minutes earlier, at 6:03 a.m., she had called 911, pleading for an operator to help. “Please, please, my parents have been shot,” she said, according to one of three detectives who testified Tuesday. Nine minutes after that call, her brother called 911 himself to report the carnage. They brought him in for questioning and several detectives, including Terence Keyzer and Michael Oppelt, interviewed Menard. Keyzer went first. “He changed his story several times,” he testified. Menard had been out with friends and his brother at a club the night before and returned home about 5 a.m. after stopping off at the International House of Pancakes, he told Keyzer. He had a few beers and maybe a mixed drink at the club and had horsed around with friends at the restaurant. When he got home, he said, he smoked several cigarettes and about an hour later walked in to find his parents’ limp bodies on the living room floor, Keyzer said. He then called 911. It was 6:12 a.m. During intense questioning, Menard’s demeanor was alternately calm, then sarcastic. He sometimes cried. The detectives pressed him on a story they said didn’t sound believable. They pointed out the blood on his shirt and the mud on his shoes and told him they thought he was lying. What about the knife, apparently from the family’s knife collection, found in the pool, they asked him. When accused of being involved in the struggle that resulted in his parents’ death, “He would just say, `I didn’t do it,”‘ Keyzer testified. During two hours of interrogation and later questioning, Menard continued to contradict himself, mentioning the gunshots and screams he said he heard as he thumbed through a book. He told the cops he locked his door, too scared to come out. When he did emerge, he said, he found his parents, but failed to mention his dead sister. When pressed about the mud on his boots – presumably from the backyard – he said he found the young woman clinging to life. He had a good relationship with his parents, he told police, but he later admitted he had stolen thousands of dollars from them and had left the house the year before for several months. At the time of his arrest, his hair was dripping wet and he wore a shirt with a blood stain on the sleeve. At the scene, detectives discovered a bag of damp clothes stained red in a bag in his room. Eventually, he told Oppelt he knew his story sounded suspicious. He switched to the version in which his father did the killing. When David Menard confronted him, Menard said he wrestled with him and put him in a head lock, Oppelt testified. His dad then grabbed him, and Brandon stabbed him. Still holding the knife, he ran out to the backyard and saw his sister on the ground. Covered in blood, he jumped in the pool, where detectives later found a 13-inch kitchen knife, believed to be one of the murder weapons. Detectives pushed him further, saying his story just didn’t add up. Menard then told Oppelt “he could have accidentally stabbed his sister.” [email protected] (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FERNANDO – Brandon Menard sat in the police interrogation room face to face with detectives a few hours after his family was slaughtered inside their Northridge home. First, he said he came home from a night of partying, smoked some cigarettes outside for an hour, then went inside and found his family dead, according to detectives who testified Tuesday in his preliminary hearing. Later, he said he went inside, disrobed and read a book. A half-hour later, he heard screams and gunshots. Finally, he said he walked in on his dad standing over his mother with a knife, struggled with him and stabbed him in the process. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The detectives confronted him with the evidence: blood on his shirt, mud on his boots that likely came from the backyard where his sister was found stabbed to death, a knife in the pool. By the end of the interview, Menard was the key suspect in the triple homicide. Details of the interview emerged during the first day of a preliminary hearing in San Fernando Superior Court, which continues today. After hearing testimony, a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to have Menard, 22, stand trial in the Aug. 4, 2006, killings. During a day of testimony in which only the prosecution called witnesses, three Los Angeles police homicide detectives recalled the horrific scene of a blood-splattered house in the 17000 block of Stare Street. Menard’s adoptive parents, David, 56, and Toni, 55, were found just inside the front door in their pajamas. Both had been stabbed in the chest several times, and David Menard had also been shot. last_img

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