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Hillsborough slaying suspect: 'I didn't murder anybody'

 | Published on 6/18/2010


REDWOOD CITY — A Hillsborough man charged with shooting and killing a longtime friend in his parent's pool house shouted that he was innocent of the alleged crime during his first court appearance Friday afternoon.

"I didn't murder anybody," said 30-year-old Bradley Kleiman, who was dressed in green jail clothes, from behind protective glass in the San Mateo County Superior courtroom. "Anybody who wants to hear it, let me speak."

Superior Court Judge Hugo R. Borja ordered Kleiman held without bail, though he cannot be released in any case because he is a parolee charged with a crime. Kleiman was on parole for a 2006 battery conviction and has a lengthy history of arrests that includes drug possession and resisting arrest.

According to police, Kleiman called 911 Tuesday evening and said he shot 30-year-old Christopher Calvache but only because his friend of at least 10 years had pulled out a gun first. When police arrived, they found Calvache, a San Francisco resident, dead with a bullet wound to the head.

They only found one gun in the pool house on the property of Kleiman's parents' home at 100 De Sabla Road. Hillsborough Police Capt. Mark O'Connor said Calvache was not armed, but added investigators were working to determine who owns the gun.

Kleiman was charged Friday with murder and illegal possession of a firearm. Because he is a parolee, he is not allowed to have a gun. Kleiman didn't enter a plea to either count and is due back in court July 13.

After the brief hearing, defense attorney Anthony Gibbs declined to comment on the case, as did Steven Kleiman, the defendant's father.

The last homicide? in affluent Hillsborough was in 2004, when Priscilla Ng and her boyfriend were beaten in their home. She died of her injuries. Police have not caught the killer.

Kleiman lived in the pool house on his parents' property and Calvache was apparently there to visit, police said, though no one else was home at the time. The two men were talking in the minutes leading up to the gunfire. But what happened to provoke the shooting is still under investigation, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

"It's not clear what elevated the situation to the level that one man murdered another," he said.

During their investigation, police found three shell casings at the scene and performed drug and alcohol tests on Kleiman. The results haven't come back yet, authorities said.

Calvache's killing was the third in a week in San Mateo County.

San Mateo police are working to track down the killer of 54-year-old East Palo Alto community leader David Lewis, who was gunned down at Hillsdale Shopping Center on June 9. San Bruno police are looking for the person who shot 20-year-old John La Pierre in front of his home on June 11. Police have not released the identities of any suspects.