A Rohnert Park police detective testified today that a footprint found in a swath of blood inside slain 43-year-old custom guitar maker Taku Sakashita’s workshop matched the soles of murder suspect Joshua Begley’s brown leather boots.Detective David Rodriguez’s testimony and that of eight other Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officers came during Begley’s preliminary hearing in Sonoma County Superior Court. The hearing resumes Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.Police found Sakashita’s body in bushes in a median adjacent to his business at 643 Martin Ave. around 3:50 a.m. on Feb. 12. He had been stabbed 11 times in the head, chest, heart, neck, chin and hand.Officer Daniel Adam testified a green work jacket was draped over Sakashita’s body and he found a black, right-hand glove with a yellow stripe in the left outside pocket and a pocketknife with blood on it in a right pocket inside the jacket.Begley’s former girlfriend, 22-year-old Stephany Gareis,testified Begley owned a green work jacket, a knife and a pair of gloves like those found at the scene.Officer Paul Lawrence testified he found the left-hand, black glove with a yellow stripe, three knives and blood drops and smears in Begley’s Jeep Cherokee. He said he did not examine the glove for blood, mud or dirt because he didn’t want to tamper with potential evidence.Adam testified there was a 12-inch wide and 25-foot long swath of blood inside Sakashita’s workshop. During today’s testimony, Rodriguez estimated it was 13 inches wide and 10-feet long and said there were blood splatters outside near Sakashita’s car. Begley’s boots found in his girlfriend’s apartment at 905 Civic Center Drive in Rohnert Park had dried blood on them and there were three areas on the sole of at least one boot that matched the footprint in the blood in Sakashita’s workshop, Rodriguez said.When Begley was stopped by police three days before Sakashita’s murder, he had a pocketknife similar to the one found in the green jacket, detective Phil Lamaison testified. The knife was not illegal and police returned it to Begley, Lamaison said Detective John Gilson said today that Sakashita, also known professionally as Taku Sakashta, was on the telephone with a customer in Japan when he may have been assaulted inside his workshop around 8:25 p.m. on Feb. 11. Nobu Hayashi, said he was talking on the phone with Sakashita around 8:25 p.m. Pacific Standard time when he heard Sakashita make a grunting sound. The 29-minute and 55-second phone call abruptly ended when the phone went dead, Hayashi told police, Gilson said When Sakashita did not come home by 10 p.m. Feb. 11, his wife Kazuku went to the business in west Rohnert Park around 11 p.m., Gilson said.A roll-up door, usually kept slightly open for ventilation when Sakashita was painting inside, and a glass door entrance were locked, Gilson said.His wife used a key to get inside the building but the door between the office and shop were locked. When she climbed through a window to get to that area, she noticed blood on the floor, Gilson said.Sakashita’s wallet, keys, portable land-line phone and fanny pack were missing, police testified.Sakashita’s wife then went to an urgent care center in Rohnert Park, which was closed, and to Petaluma Valley Hospital looking for her husband but he was not there, Gilson said. She then called police.During her testimony this morning, Rohnert Park resident Traci Woodward identified Begley as the man who “severely frightened” her around 8 p.m. Feb. 11 in the parking lot of her apartment complex not far from Sakashita’s business.She said Begley’s green Jeep Cherokee was blocking her parking space as she tried to pull into it. She said when Begley looked at her intensely before pulling forward. His eyes were “incredibly huge, almost all pupils” she said, and she testified she believed he was “definitely about to do something bad.” “I never saw eyes like that before,” she said. Begley, 28, of Rohnert Park, was arrested Feb. 15 at his girlfriend’s apartment at 905 Civic Center Drive in Rohnert Park. He is charged with murder, burglary, evading police and resisting an officer.
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