PITTSBURG -- In the latest twist in a bizarre case that ended with the death of a man police believed was part of a fake break-in staged by a cheating wife, the district attorney declined Thursday to file any charges, instead sending the case back to police for further review.
"There's a lot more work to be done," said Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove. "We expect to review the case again in a week or so."
However, police said they still have until 5 p.m. Friday before the four suspects could walk out of the jail without any charges to their name.
Lt. Ron Raman of Pittsburg said his team is currently working around the clock with the district attorney's office on the case.
Late Thursday, Raman was assured the suspects would remain in custody at least one more night.
The four people, including the wife, were arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing at a Pittsburg apartment. Police say Charmaine Leon Guerrero Taijeron, 28, plotted with her lover and three others to commit a home invasion robbery on her estranged husband in an attempt to intimidate him so that he would move out of their Pittsburg apartment.
The plan went awry, police say, when the husband fatally stabbed one of the burglars, 54-year-old Robert Earl Lindsey, the uncle of alleged co-conspirators, brothers Matt and Charles Parker.
Taijeron, her lover Matt Terrell Parker, 22, his brother Charles Edward Parker, 21, and Jimmy Watkins Salgado, 23, were each arrested on suspicion of murder for allegedly participating in the plot under the state's provocative acts doctrine, which holds that anyone involved in the commission of a felony can be charged with murder if that felony results in a death.
They were each being jailed in lieu of $1 million bail before prosecutors on Thursday declined to file charges within 72 hours of their arrests.
The husband did not know about the plot and acted in reasonable self-defense in stabbing Lindsey, who died at the scene, police said. He was not arrested.
Police say Taijeron, 28, enticed the conspirators by telling them they could steal the marijuana plants her husband was legally growing. Police did not say what gave the husband, whom they have not identified, the right to grow marijuana.
The incident happened about 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, when Lindsey, Salgado and Charles Parker went to the couple's apartment at the Villa Serena apartment complex, in the 100 block of East Leland Road, according to police. Police said that Taijeron had given them a spare key to enter the home.
Police say the husband heard someone coming into the home and ran to get a gun from the back of the apartment. He confronted Lindsey at the door with a gun, according to police. Lindsey was carrying a toy gun, and after the two struggled and dropped the guns, the husband grabbed a knife and stabbed Lindsey, police said.
In a jailhouse interview Wednesday, Charles Parker said he did not know about any plan to oust the husband and said he agreed to help Lindsey steal some marijuana and "help (Taijeron's) situation out," as he said his brother asked.
Salgado and Charles Parker fled the building, police said, but were found by police a short time later. Taijeron and her husband have two children, ages 5 and 8, but they were not home at the time of the burglary, police said.
Lindsey, a transient whose last known address ¿was in Pittsburg, had an extensive Contra Costa County criminal history, including burglaries, drug offenses and other convictions. His first felony conviction in the county, for drug trafficking, was in 1990, and he was convicted of at least 11 other felonies since then, including robbery, false imprisonment, drug sales and possession. He was last sentenced in December to 22 days in jail and two years probation for two drug felonies.
Matt Parker is on probation for a conviction for driving under the influence and a minor accident-reporting violation in October 2010.
Charles Parker is awaiting arraignment on two forgery charges and a second-degree burglary charge from 2010. He was originally entered into a diversion program but that was terminated in September 2011, and the charges were reinstated. He is scheduled to appear in court on that case in March, court records show.
Jimmy Watkins Salgado was convicted of second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery in 2008, and convicted of theft with priors and resisting police in 2010. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison in September 2010.
Taijeron has no criminal record in Contra Costa County.
Staff writers Katie Nelson and Paul Burgarino contributed to this report.