Patricia Sandoval heard her dogs barking the afternoon of April 14, 2010 and, looking outside, saw three teens by her driveway.
As they walked away she asked if she could help them. They asked if "Matthew" was home, and when she told them nobody by that name lived there, they walked away.
Prosecutors believe the teens Sandoval encountered were involved in the beating death of an 81-year-old woman later that same day. Sandoval's testimony began Tuesday morning, the second day of the murder trial of David Deshawn Moses, 20, and sisters Katila Ann Jean Nash and 19-year-old Angelique Elandra Nash.
Deputy District Attorney David Wilson is prosecuting the case. Defense attorney Fred Gagliardini is representing Angelique Nash, Richard Rivera is representing Katila Nash and Jano Mattaeo is representing Moses.
Gagliardini said outside court that Angelique Nash went along with her sister and Moses that day as Moses looked for a house where he could buy marijuana. The three kept knocking on doors, looking for the right house, and eventually Angelique Nash grew tired of the expedition and no longer walked up driveways with the other two.
Angelique Nash never entered the home of Dorothy Session, Gagliardini said. She heard her sister scream and then Moses and Katila Nash ran from the house.
"Angelique was never in there," Gagliardini said.
Mattaeo said his defense strategy, in a nutshell, involves focusing on the mental state of Moses and that he didn't intend to kill or burglarize.
"As sad as it is for all the parties involved, that's the issue that I see," Mattaeo said.
Rivera could not be reached for comment.
Session, who lived in the 1500 block Camino Sierra, was later found dead. The Nashes were arrested the Saturday following the killing near a motel on Chester Lane, and early the next morning a family pastor brought Moses to Kern County Juvenile Hall where he turned himself in, according to Kern County sheriff's deputies.
Moses told his family he didn't remember what happened after he entered Session's home, according to his uncle, Israel Johnson. The uncle said Katila Nash told Moses he hit Session, and Moses said he was sorry if he did that.
Relatives of Moses have said he left a group home about a month before Session was killed and he stopped taking medication to control his hyperactivity. Relatives said Moses had been in group homes most of his life.
The Nash girls were also runaways, according to deputies.
Session's family and others who knew her were stunned by the crime. Session was described as someone who baked cookies and cakes for widows and children, tended to her garden and was a devout member of First Freewill Baptist Church for 56 years.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.