Pizza-parlor slaying case testimony still puzzling

The Sunset pizza parlor double-slaying case that took a twist earlier in the week found no additional clarity on the second day of testimony, with five prosecution witnesses Tuesday who were unable to positively identify a Daly City man accused of the shooting.

The preliminary trial for Matthew Owyang, 19, took a sharp turn earlier this week when a witness admitted to lying to police about a fifth man who jumped into a car on the early morning of March 29, when Jason de la Cruz, 31, and Derek Butch, 23, were gunned down outside Irving Pizza at Irving Street and 19th Avenue.

Owyang’s girlfriend, Anita Tran, 19, said Tuesday that she also omitted the name of Eric Siu when questioned by police after the slayings.

“I didn’t think it was necessary to mention my friend’s name,” Tran told Assistant District Attorney George Butterworth. “Maybe I forgot Eric was in the car.”

Another passenger in Owyang’s car, Andrew Lei, was so drunk during the killings that he didn’t remember who else was in the vehicle as it left the chaotic scene, according to his testimony.

He and Owyang had been drinking Absolut vodka outside A.P. Giannini Middle School for “three hours” before driving to Irving Pizza to meet with friends. He said he couldn’t remember getting home, let alone who killed two men that night.

But the cashier at Irving Pizza, Hashen Tazziz, was much more confident of his memory. He identified Siu in a photo lineup after the killings, and testified Tuesday that the shooter did not get into Owyang’s blue Honda Civic.

The argument apparently originated at the front door of Irving Pizza where De La Cruz refused to buy a man a slice of pizza. The argument spilled out into the sidewalk and became heated, witnesses testified Monday.

At least two men without shirts on were at the center of the argument with De La Cruz, shouting, “I’m from the TL (Tenderloin)” and “I’m from the streets.”

bbegin@examiner.com  

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Salesforce Tower and several other buildings in downtown San Francisco can be seen through the fog; climate scientists report that The City’s beloved mascot may be on the decline. (Courtesy Engel Ching)
Is San Francisco losing its fog? Scientists fear the worst

This isn’t just an identity crisis for San Franciscans. It’s an ecological problem

The Bay Area is vying to be one of 16 communities,<ins> spread across the U.S., Canada and Mexico,</ins> to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup soccer championships. Games would be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. (Courtesy Bay Area Host Committee, World Cup 2026)
Bay Area launches bid to host World Cup games in 2026

FIFA officials pay San Francisco a visit as they tour prospective venues

San Francisco City Administrator Carmen Chu, who took office in February, is in the process of restructuring the sprawling department. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to The Examiner)
Report knocks city administrator for inefficiency, lack of transparency

‘A culture that allows corruption to take place’

Outside Lands boasts high-quality food and drink from dozens of purveyors, and many are local.<ins> (Courtesy Outside Lands)</ins>
Outside Lands is for food lovers

85 food vendors, 40 wineries, 30 breweries make the festival nourishing to gluttonous

Most Read