Tyner, whom Sanders identified as her cousin, worked as Barrientos' bodyguard and complained to Denny Phillips that he was not being paid enough, Sanders said. Denny Phillips was also not happy with the amount of money he made from drug deals with Barrientos, she said.
“Let's do something about it,” Sanders testified Denny Phillips said at one point during a conversation with Tyner in which she was present. She said Denny Phillips made it clear that he wanted to personally kill Barrientos.
“He wanted to shoot Casey, I know that,” Sanders said. “He said he wanted to look in his eyes.”
Sanders said she broke up with Denny Phillips in September 2009, two months before the shootings and did not report the threats because she did not take them seriously.
In May 2012, Tyner pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to consecutive life prison sentences without the possibility of parole in a plea agreement to avoid a possible death penalty.
The preliminary hearing will determine whether there is probable cause that Denny Phillips was involved in the shootings and should be tried for murder. He has pleaded not guilty and if convicted could face a death sentence or life in prison.
HBO's “Cathouse” focused on the Moonlite Bunny Ranch near Carson City, Nev.