The Marin County, Calif., trial of Max Wade, 19, charged with attempted murder and the theft of a flashy, yellow Lamborghini belonging to celebrity chef Guy Fieri from a dealership in San Francisco, has begun.
Wade is charged with commercial burglary and auto theft for the 2011 heist that looked like something out of Ocean’s Eleven. A burglar draped in black clothing rappelled into the British Motors dealership last year and drove off with Feiri’s $200,000 luxury convertible. Although Wade was a minor when the crime occurred, he is being charged as an adult.
He might have made a clean getaway, prosecutors allege, if it weren’t for an unrelated incident Marin County authorities were investigating. They followed Wade to a storage facility, because they suspected his involvement in a drive-by shooting, and found the missing vehicle.
For the drive-by, Wade was charged with attempted murder.
“Max Wade already had the flashy yellow Lamborghini, but he wanted to have the beautiful blonde to go with it, and he was willing to kill to get it,” Deputy District Attorney Yvette Martinez told jurors during opening statements in a San Rafael courtroom Friday.
Aside from the car theft charges, the DA says that Wade, scorned by the object of his affection, 18-year-old Eva Dedier, tried to kill her and her boyfriend, Landon Wahlstrom, 19, while they sat in Wahlstrom’s truck outside his home.
“They’re [Dedier and Wahlstrom] cooperating with the legal process,” said Lt. Jamie Scardina, with the Marin County Sheriff’s Department. “Landon has already testified, he’s done, but always subject to a call-back.”
“The love triangle was thrown out, the judge didn’t believe there was a love triangle,” said Wade’s mother, Leylla Wade. “First she said he stole a Lamborghini a year ago to seduce the girl, which is bulls***, even the judge doesn’t believe it.”
In opening arguments, defense lawyer Charles Dresow said he had evidence to prove Wade did not shoot at the victims.
“The Lamborghini theft and the shooting occurred. There is no doubt about that,” Dresow said. “They were victims. The evidence will show that they were not victims of my client.”
If convicted on all charges, Wade could serve a maximum prison term of up to 30 years. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
On the way back into the courtroom, Dresow told ABC News, “We are going to do whatever we have to do to get the right result.”
According to Scardina, Marin detectives searching Wade’s storage shed found Fieri’s missing car, the gun allegedly used in the shooting, climbing gear, two assault rifles and shotgun shells, a San Francisco Police Department uniform and badge and false identification cards from California, Florida and New York.
“He’s charged with two counts of attempted murder,” said Marin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry Borden. “He’s charged with a third count of shooting at an occupied vehicle, fourth count of commercial burglary, 5th count taking vehicles without owner consent, 6th receiving a stolen vehicle.”
“I know my son and he would never ever take someone else’s life,” Leylla Wade said. “He’s a great son, a great kid. He’s not who they try to portray.”