Defendant testifies in 2008
Elkhorn Blvd Park 'n' Ride slaying

by Tom Nadeau of Notable Trials The defendant’s argument in the Sacramento County Superior Court matter of People v. Poe Blue Siavii, #...

by Tom Nadeau
of Notable Trials

The defendant’s argument in the Sacramento County Superior Court matter of People v. Poe Blue Siavii, #08F07611, boils down to a classic “two-dude defense,”i.e., “It wasn’t me, it was the other dude who did it.”

Whether that floats with the jury of eight women and four men should soon be known, since closing arguments are expected to begin today in this seemingly simple, yet actually quite exotic murder trial involving handsome Samoan woman witnesses and disputed translations of monitored phone calls conducted in the Samoan language

Arrested Sept. 12, 2008, Siavii is accused of murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait. Siavii has pleaded innocent, but, if convicted, he faces a possible term of life in prison without parole.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore summed up the prosecution’s basic contention in his 23-page trial brief:

On May 5, 2008, Joshua Kalb was shot at point blank in the back of the head and killed while sitting in his car at a Park and Ride in north Sacramento, near the airport, Joshua Kalb was 27 years old and was a freely admitted high level drug deal. The murder was related to the drug dealing activity of Mr. Kalb. Defendant Siavii was ultimately identified as the slayer … through cell phone activity, eyewitness accounts, and DNA evidence.

Exotic traffic ...
This killing arose out of an illicit drug business operated by a small ring of Samoan methamphetamine dealers based in Sacramento but selling to a coterie of crank buyers in Oahu, Hawaii.

The meth was packaged and shipped to Hawaii via common commercial means and a messenger, Stephen Riddick, would fly over to the island separately to fetch back the money.

And we are not talking small change here.

Siavii took the stand in his own defense Monday. Under questioning by his own defense attorney, Kyle Knapp, Siavii admitted his traffic volume and single pay-offs sometimes ran as high as $380,000.

Riddick, the prosecution’s main witness, testified earlier that he himself had brought back a duffle bag stuffed with $200,000 in cash. He sometimes brought back other smaller amounts, he also testified.

Riddick testified that on the night in question he drove Siavii to a park-and-ride off Elkhorn Boulevard in Sacramento where they met Kalb.

Kalb had been led to believe they would then drive in Kalb’s vehicle to the Sacramento airport where they were to meet two others involved in the drug trafficking.

It is here that the conflicting testimonies start to get cloudy.

Riddick – a prosecution witness granted immunity for his testimony – claims that when they arrived ad the largely empty parking lot, Siavii got into the back of Kalb’s car and him into the front.

Siavii then pulled out a pistol and shot Kalb in the back of the neck and head, twice, with the rounds going off about 10 seconds apart.

Riddick said he was shocked and watched as Siavii gathered up the loose shell casings, and left the scene.

The defense statement of facts depicts essentially the same set of circumstances leading up to and execution the park-and-ride slaying, only it was Riddick who got into the back of Kalb’s car and Riddick who shot Kalb twice in the neck and head and Riddick who directed the crime scene clean-up

“Did you kill Josh Kalb,” Knapp asked Siavii on the witness stand.

“No I did not,” Siavii replied.

As the defense statement of facts portrays it:

On May 4, 2008 [date discrepancy not explained] Joshua Kalb was killed in his car at the Park-in-Ride off Elkhorn in Sacramento. Someone fired two close range shots from the backseat into his neck and head as he sat in the drivers seat. Until September of 2008 the investigation did not have much momentum, Detectives analysed cell phone data and on Sept. 12, 2008, found a phone number that was linked to the prosecution’s main witness, Stephen Riddick. Mr. Riddick was questioned and he quickly revealed how he observed the defendant shoot Mr. Kalb from the back seat of the car. He described what he saw and even made a pretext phone call in the Samoan language where there is a discussion of phones and the shooting of Mr. Kalb….

Joshua Kalb had many enemies, His name came up in prior narcotics trafficking case and the word on the street was the he was a snitch… there were numerous folks who harbored grudges against Mr. Kalb.

Mr. Siavii was friends with Kalb and had no motive to kill him.

Closing arguments are expected today before Judge James L. Long.

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