This time, a warrant is issued in timely fashion

An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for a witness who allegedly saw a San Francisco man beat another man to death, after the witness failed to appear at a hearing Tuesday.

A preliminary hearing scheduled on Tuesday for Richard Carelli and his girlfriend, Michele Pinkerton, both 38, was delayed because of the witness’s failure to appear in court.

The witness was subpoenaed to testify in the case, according to District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Connie Chan.

“The witness did not appear in court,” she said. “Therefore, we have issued an arrest warrant for the witness.”

Assistant District Attorney David Merin told Judge Phillip Moscone that the male neighbor was not at his home, where a police inspector had prearranged to pick him up Tuesday morning.

Moscone granted an order allowing police to hold the witness until he can give his testimony.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today, according to Chan.

The San Francisco couple is charged with the Dec. 22 beating death of 49-year-old computer programmer Leonard “Milo” Hoskins, whose body was found in the suspects’ impounded van a month after he disappeared.

A police spokesman previously said officers didn’t search the suspects’ towed van, which had attracted cadaver-detecting dogs, because they didn’t have a search warrant.

A warrant was subsequently obtained Feb. 1 — more than a month after Hoskins disappeared.
Witness Larry Pope, a Mission Terrace neighbor who lived near the victim and the suspects, previously told police that he saw Carelli strike Hoskins over the head twice with a piece of wood and then drag the victim into the house, according to a statement by police Inspector Angela Martin.

Pope said Carelli’s shirt was covered with blood when he re-emerged from the house, according to Martin.

Police previously said they believe the suspects killed Hoskins because he was trying to evict them from the house that they shared.

The couple was arrested April 7 in Baja California, Mexico, after a San Diego journalist tracked them down.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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