A preliminary hearing began today in Sonoma County Superior Court for two San Mateo County residents charged with burglarizing a Sonoma home days after the family living there was killed in a vehicle crash. Defense attorney Steve Weiss and Deputy Public Defender Karen Silver claim Michael Vincent Gutierrez, 26, and Amber True, 29, were not aware at the time of the alleged burglary that the Maloney family had been killed in a crash at state Highway 29 and Lakeville Highway on Nov. 28. Deputy District Attorney Michael Li is arguing True and Gutierrez targeted the Maloney home because they were informed it was unoccupied and that they could not help but notice the shrine that was in front of the Maloney residence. The crash killed John Maloney, 45, and Susan Maloney, 42, their son Aiden, 8, and daughter Grace, 5. Their relatives discovered on Dec. 1 the Maloney home at 1005 Fryer Creek Drive in Sonoma had been burglarized. During testimony this afternoon, San Mateo police Officer Jason Reed said he arrested True on Dec. 1 in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in San Mateo for driving on a suspended license. He testified he then found Susan Maloney’s credit card in True’s back pocket and True said her friend left the credit card in her car. Reed said he also found a string of pearls and a gold necklace and bracelet in her purse. True said the jewelry belonged to her grandmother who had died and she was going to pawn it, Reed said. Wick ruled that testimony inadmissible because True had not been given a Miranda warning after she was arrested. Reed also said he found a Blue Ray DVD player and a work order with John Maloney’s name, address and phone number inside a box and silverware in the trunk of True’s car. Reed said he called the Maloney home and John Maloney’s sister told him the house had been burglarized and the items he found had been stolen. San Mateo police then contacted the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Gutierrez was arrested after he allegedly tried to flee a residence off Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County Dec. 1 in the Maloney family’s missing 2006 Nissan 350Z. Investigators said they found financial records, jewelry, electronics and other personal property stolen from the Maloney home in the house True shared with Gutierrez. True and Gutierrez are charged with burglary, receiving stolen property and vandalism. True is out of custody and Gutierrez is being held in the Sonoma County jail. Their preliminary hearing resumes March 25.
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