BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — When deputies brought Jahquan Davenport into court Monday, they seated him across the room from his two co-defendants.

That in itself was unusual, but even more out of the ordinary was the spit mask — a mesh hood — placed over Davenport’s head. Judge Kenneth C. Twisselmann II immediately asked for an explanation.

Deputy Matt Alvarez told the court Davenport had twice spit on others at the end of prior court hearings. On Nov. 21, Davenport spit on co-defendant Jaysean Davenport, his brother, and on Nov. 30 he spit on a deputy while being led out of the courtroom, Alvarez said.

Jaysean Davenport, file image

“We figured for his safety, and the safety of the other defendants, he should be separated,” Alvarez said.

The Davenports and Antone James are charged with murder in the death of Ronnetta Martin, whose remains were found Aug. 15 near Backus Road between Rosamond and Mojave. A preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday was postponed after Twisselman said he needed to preside over another hearing in a months-long trial.

The judge, over the objection of Jahquan Davenport attorney Jason Westerfeld, ordered the defendant to continue wearing the spit mask at future hearings “for the time being.”

Antone James, file image

Upon their arrest in late August, Jahquan Davenport and James told investigators Jaysean Davenport shot Martin in the back of the head, according to court documents. James told detectives Jaysean Davenport had become “agitated” after Martin told him he needed to move out of her Rosamond home. All three defendants lived with Martin.

A friend of Martin said the defendants had previously threatened to kill Martin for speaking “disrespectfully” to them, according to the documents.

Martin’s mother reported her missing Aug. 2. Her daughter’s car was found burned in Inglewood, and surveillance footage captured Jahquan Davenport, James and someone believed to be Jaysean Davenport at the scene as the car ignited, sheriff’s investigators said in court filings.

Jahquan Davenport and James told investigators the shooting occurred in the car, documents said. Jaysean Davenport disposed of the body, James told detectives, then she and the brothers drove to Inglewood and set the car on fire.

The preliminary hearing is now set for Wednesday.