Monday, February 2, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

The punitive damages phase of a long-running civil trial stemming from a “Murder-for-Hire” plot, involving members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, is once again moving closer to a jury trial date.

Since a civil jury awarded $4.5 million in compensatory damages to Leonard Epps, the former manager of the now shuttered Brass Key Lounge, the case against siblings Stacey Nunez-Barajas and Erik Barajas has been mired in motions and counter motions from both sides. The Brass Key, at the time, was owned by another San Manuel member, who mysteriously passed away in Hawaii.

But now the case would appear to once again be on a trial trajectory.

The last tussle was in regards to a transfer of $2,004,674 between the Nunez-Barajas and Kenneth and Rachel Barajas. A second $800,000 payment from Nunez-Barajas to Mulvey Custom Builders as a payment toward the construction of a home for Kenneth and Rachel Barajas was also scrutinized.

Both transfers were deemed legitimate.

The case stems from a “Murder-for-Hire” plot to kill Epps. In 2008, both Barajas siblings were convicted in San Bernardino County Superior Court of hiring two member of the Mexican Mafia to murder Epps.

Nunez-Barajas remains in state custody for violating her 15-year probation.

A trial setting conference is scheduled for February 6 in San Bernardino Superior Court.