[UPDATED with Conviction:] Derek Christopher Adams Guilty of Murdy Park Murder
See Update No. 3 at the end of this post on Derek Christopher Adams' conviction today.
See Update Nos. 1-2 on opening statements and an email from someone supposedly intimate with the love triangle (square?) at the center of the case.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 13, 1:03 P.M.: For real, weird, twisted dramas, Bravo should ditch The Real Housewives of Orange County for even lower grade white trash like Derek Christopher Adams and Marissa Star Bilotti. In less than two years, this wild pair has exposed us to the tale of a love triangle, a stolen cell phone, a fold-up knife hidden in a vagina, a stupid escape and a fatal shooting in a city park in broad daylight. If that's not enough true-crime network crossover appeal, Bilotti while behind bars married a man facing the death penalty for allegedly orchestrating the beating of his ex-girlfriend's dad, mother and sister before mom was left to die and dad and sis were set on fire.
According to authorities, Adams was pissed that a woman he had eyes on was dating a parolee named Cody Mosher. With his pal Bilotti by his side, Adams went to Mosher's Newport Beach home around 11 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2010, broke down the door and started arguing with Mosher and his girlfriend.
Adams and Bilotti, who are both from Huntington Beach, are accused of stealing money from the woman's purse during the argument, which continued between the women as Adams went into the kitchen to retrieve a knife. He is accused of punching, hitting and ultimately slashing Mosher before stealing the parolee's cell phone and fleeing with Bilotti.
Throughout the day, Adams allegedly sent messages to the girlfriend from Mosher's cell phone before arranging to return it to her at Murdy Park in Huntington Beach. Bilotti allegedly covered the license plate of her car before driving Adams into the park's lot. Concealing a folding knife in her vagina, Bilotti is further alleged to have waited in the car while Adams, who was carrying a firearm, approached the girlfriend and two of her friends around 3:30 p.m.
Adams is accused of throwing the cell phone to one of the friends, Gregory Ryan Heintz, and then shooting the 32-year-old Garden Grove man once in the stomach. Bilotti is said to have removed the license plate cover on her car before Adams rejoined her and they sped off. Dumb move, as witnesses wrote down the plate number and called 9-1-1. Huntington Beach cops quickly swooped in, pulled Bilotti's car over and arrested the pair.
Heintz then died in a local hospital.
Today, a jury trial was to being in Santa Ana for 23-year-old Adams, who is charged with one felony count each of murder, first degree robbery, first degree residential burglary, and aggravated assault with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death and the personal use of a firearm. He could get up to 59 years and four months to life in state prison with a conviction.
Bilotti, now 21, is charged with one felony count each of murder, aggravated assault, and first degree residential burglary with sentencing enhancements for being armed with a firearm and knowingly being vicariously armed with a firearm. She's looking at a Sept. 21 pre-trial hearing date and up to 35 years and four months to life in state prison if found guilty.
The happy couple: Ifekhar Murtaza and Mariassa Star Bilotti
A friend in Orange County Jail is credited with getting Bilotti together with Iftekhar Murtaza, a 27-year-old accused of the terror that befell an Anaheim Hills family that did not approve of his relationship with their daughter. Murtaza has a looming trial for allegedly killing 56-year-old Jaypraykash Dhank and his daughter Karishma Dhank, who was 20.
It was Bilotti's 20th birthday when she had her June wedding with Murtaza in 2011 in the jail's visiting area, where they saw each other for the first time in person after having exchanged jailhouse love letters since January of that same year.
UPDATE NO. 1, AUG. 14, 1:34 P.M.: According to someone who claims to have intimate knowledge of the players in this case, the Weekly was incomplete describing their relationships, as you'll read on the next page . . .
Identified only as Nicole of Santa Ana, she writes:
IF you are going to tell the story, please get the facts straight. I was there. Derek was a former boyfriend of the female Newport victim. Bilotti was Derek's girlfriend. Cody was just a friend of female Newport victim. Derek was upset over a relationship that his ex of 2 years was having, and this person wasnt even there. Please, its insulting that you dont even have the decency to ask us what happened. Nicole, SA
As I did not know Nicole even existed until her email landed in my inbox, it was difficult for me to reach out. But in earlier posts I had described Bilotti as Adams' girlfriend at the time, so I do apologize for my forgetfulness. And insultingness.
Veteran court reporter Larry Welborn further describes the love triangle (square?) in his Orange County Register piece based on opening statements. Adams is said to have had an on-again, off-again relationship with the woman in the Newport Beach apartment, and he was upset she and Mosher has spent the night together.
After Mosher was assaulted, he and the woman recruited Heintz to go with her to Murdy Park and retrieve the stolen cell phone from Adams, who had been sending menacing text messages from it, allegedly.
Heintz, who was unarmed and went by the nickname "Rooster," was killed near the playground for "the most absurd reason," Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste reportedly explained: he found himself dragged into the love triangle (square?).
After the shooting, Adams fled in getaway car driven by his girlfriend Bilotti "like the ultimate coward he is," Balleste reportedly added.
Wellborn reports that defense attorney Randy Driggs claimed it was not murder but manslaughter, conceding in his opening statement that Adams pulled the trigger but that his client developed "an honest but unreasonable fear" while he waited at the park that afternoon.
UPDATE NO. 2, AUG. 14, 6:09 P.M.: The last name of Cody Mosher has been corrected throughout.
UPDATE NO. 3, AUG. 22, 5:37 P.M.: A jury in Santa Ana today found Derek Christopher Adams guilty of shooting and murdering Gregory Heintz, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement.
The conviction on the counts of felony second degree murder, grand theft, first degree residential burglary, and aggravated assault, with a true finding on the sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and death and the personal use of a firearm, could sent the Huntington Beach 23-year-old to state prison for up to 48 years to life.
Adams will learn his fate at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Oct. 19.
A month earlier--Sept. 21, to be exact--Marissa Star Bilotti has a pretrial hearing on charges of one felony count each of murder, aggravated assault, and first degree residential burglary with sentencing enhancements for being armed with a firearm and knowingly being vicariously armed with a firearm. She's looking at up to 35 years and four months to life in state prison with a conviction.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.