Arrested and charged for the murder are Seth Cravens, 21; Eric House, 20; Orlando Osuna, 22; and Matthew Yanke, 20. All are graduates of La Jolla High School and belong to a gang known as the Bird Rock Bandits, who boast on their web page about attacking strangers for sport. SDPD tracked them down by researching MySpace pages. Cravens and Kauanui knew each other -- Cravens was once best friends with Kauanui's brother Nigel, 21. All men were involved in sports activities. Cravens was a former La Jolla High football player and wrestler. House wrestled, played football, basketball, and lacrosse at La Jolla High. Osuna played football and Yanke enjoyed baseball.
There have been at least 14 reports on file of assault suspected by the Bird Rock Bandits. In some cases, arrests could not be made because victims feared retaliation if they pressed charges and testified, said Rooney. Seth Cravens had been banned from the Shack Bar and Grille on La Jolla Boulevard for constantly picking fights.
If convicted of the homicide, the four men face 25 to life in prison.
NEIGHBORLY KNIFE FIGHT TURNS FATAL
Corte Maria and D Street, Chula Vista
May 28, 3:45 p.m.
A neighbor confronted Danilo Abana, 55, an architect and building contractor, in front of his house at 180 Corte Maria Avenue around 3:45 p.m. The argument quickly escalated. The neighbor pulled out a knife and stabbed Abana repeatedly. Another neighbor, Fagaloa Fiatoa, 54, intervened to help and was also stabbed. He was hospitalized at UCSD Medical Center with injuries that were serious but not life threatening. The attacker was hospitalized as well. He had cuts and other injuries from having a brick thrown in his face, said Lt. Tro Peltekian of the Chula Vista Police. Abana, after being taken to UCSD Medical Center, died.
A HIT OR A RANDOM SHOOTING?
2000 Winnett Street, Encanto
May 28, 5:01 p.m.
Police responded to a report of a shooting. The victim had already left the scene, driven by a friend to the hospital. The victim was transferred to a trauma center, where he died at 6:55 p.m. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim was a passenger in a vehicle that stopped in the driveway of a residence on Winnett Street. Two of the vehicle's occupants went into the residence. A teal-colored, four-door vehicle stopped in the middle of Winnett Street, facing southbound, and two males exited. The males walked over to the victim and engaged him in a brief conversation before both pulled out handguns and shot him.
San Diego Homicide identified the victim as Meredith Jimison, 44, originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who worked as a landscaper. He was pronounced dead at Scripps Mercy Hospital. Police say the case is still under investigation and there is no apparent motive for the crime. According to Lt. Kevin Rooney, Homicide detectives and the SDPD Crime Lab identified Eugene Foster, 19, as one of the murder suspects.
Foster was in county jail on unrelated charges. On July 7, SDPD added the count of murder to the charges he is being held on.
The investigation into Jimison's murder continues, Rooney says.
NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER IN CASTLE NEIGHBORHOOD
3800 42nd Street, San Diego
June 1, 10:32 p.m.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found a male, 26, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Paramedics attempted to save his life, but he died on the scene. Witnesses reported they heard the sound of a vehicle leaving the area at the time of the shooting. The motive for this crime is unknown, says Lt. Kevin Rooney. Anyone with information should contact the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-TIPS.
SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED IN CASE OF MISSING GIRL
1330 Maria Avenue, Spring Valley
June 5, 11:30 p.m.
Brittany Monet Hart, 24, was considered a missing or abducted person. She was last seen at a gas station in Santee on May 24, 2007; she did not show up for work at Costco in La Mesa, nor was she in contact with friends and family. Cell phone records revealed at least one call between Hart and Robert Steven Carson, 40, near the time of her disappearance. A search warrant was executed at Carson's residence in Spring Valley on June 5. Carson is a registered sex offender who was convicted of rape in 1986. Hart's blood was found in his basement. Carson was arrested and charged with murder. Hart's body or vehicle was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, Carson did not cooperate with police.
On June 15, firefighters with the U.S. Forestry Service were engaged in a physical-training exercise in the Cleveland National Forest when they detected an odor coming from an area down an embankment and bordering a dirt road. They discovered a badly decomposed human body inside a plastic trash can. The medical examiner later identified the body as Hart's.
Sheriff's Homicide investigators learned that Carson had shopped at Costco the day before Brittany disappeared. Brittany's friend Kendra Scott, 19, had shopped there the same day and said Brittany was acting very strangely, unlike her usual personality. "I think something was wrong," says Kendra.
Carson is being held without bail for her murder. A memorial concert was held July 25, 2007, at Dreamstreet in Ocean Beach, with five bands playing. Hart's favorite area of San Diego was Ocean Beach, according to the promoter of the concert, Josh Hailing. "When Brittany's body was found, we decided right then that we wanted to help her family with any expenses they might incur because of this," says Hailing. Brittany knew many band members and was connected to the local music scene.
EAST COUNTY HIT OR A RANDOM SHOOTING?
Skyline Drive and Canton Drive, Lemon Grove
June 6, 7:23 p.m.
Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the vicinity of Skyline Drive and Canton Drive in Lemon Grove to investigate a report of gunshots being fired. While en route they were redirected to Kempf Street and Broadway. The first deputy arrived at that location at 7:34 p.m. Seated in a vehicle at the intersection, the deputy found a male and female, both victims of gunshot wounds. They were treated at the scene, then transported to a local hospital, where the male, 20, was pronounced dead at 9:14 p.m.