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Trial continues - murdered man found in girlfriend's car's trunk

La Plata, MD - In the continuing first-degree murder trial of Bruce Matthew Lyles Jr., 29 of Waldorf, Charles County assistant state’s attorneys Francis Granados and John Stackhouse pressed their case Monday afternoon into Tuesday, March 31 before Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier.

Lyles is facing a jury trial in the execution-style murder of Michael Milstead, whose body was found in the trunk of his girlfirend’s 2009 Chevrolet Malibu July 15, 2012 in a wooded area off Piney Branch Road.

Milstead’s brother Marcus testified under questioning by Stackhouse that his brother called him about 9:30-10 o’clock that Sunday morning.

“We talked about random stuff,” he testified. “He said he was going to get CoCo’s car. A little later, I called him. He said, ‘I’m about to ride up on the hill and talk to Boogie about last night.’ ”

That was the last time he talked to his brother, he said.

Defense attorney David Simpson asked Milstead if it was the Ford brothers, the two men who beat Lyles bloody at Allen’s Acres in Hughesville the night before his brother was murdered, who really had the problem with Lyles.

“Yes,” Milstead answered.

“The beating he got was from the Ford brothers?” Simpson asked.

“Yes,” Milstead said.

“Did you or your brother strike him [Lyles] at any time?” the attorney queried.

“No,” the witness replied.

The murdered man’s girlfriend, Nicole Baker, testified that Michael Milstead dropped her off at work Sunday morning, July 15, 2012.

“How were you going to get home?” Granados asked.

“Michael was going to pick me up,” she replied.

“Did he pick you up?” the prosecutor asked.

“No,” Baker said. “I called his brother. Marcus came and picked me up. We rode around El Lane [in Waldorf] to see if anybody had seen him.”

She said repeated calls to Michael’s phone kept going to voice mail.

Granados asked her if she kept a gas can in her car, to which she replied, “no.”

“Was there any reason for Mr. Lyles’ clothing to be in your car?” the prosecutor asked, in reference to clothes belonging to the defendant which were found under a gas can in the floorboard of the 2009 Malibu.

“No,” she replied.

Simpson asserted that Baker knew the defendant in high school and had even gone out with him at one time.

Baker vehemently denied that either statement was true.

James Quade testified he was riding his bike on Piney Branch Road July 15, 2012 when he noticed a “fancy new car sitting in the woods.”

Quade told Granados the car was about 150-200 yards back in the woods.

“It was a bright blue color,” he said. “I went in about 25 or 30 feet and stopped, came back and called the sheriff’s department. I thought it was stolen.”

Simpson asked Quade if he saw anybody near the car or if he saw a black Cadillac, the car the defendant drives, in the woods near the car. Quade answered no to both questions.

More testimony is expected in the trial, which is expected to last most of the week.

To read the opening arguments follow this link: Jury hears opening arguments in murder case

Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@thebaynet.com

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