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Stories by Eva Knott

El Cajon murder case now with jury

Racist-charged note left at scene considered false evidence

Prosecutor Kurt Mechals failed to prove that Kassim Alhimidi beat his 32-year-old wife to death in their home in 2012, his defense attorney told jurors today, April 15. A note reading “This is my county ...

More delays in Brittany Killgore murder case

New attorney for Maraglino, more information hamper progress

Murder defendant Dorothy Maraglino was in court on April 8, represented by the fourth attorney who has been assigned to her since 22-year-old Brittany Killgore went missing two years ago. Maraglino’s new attorney, Jane Kinsey, ...

Man admits Vista robbery — but not murder attempt

Phillip Edwards Miller expects six years prison

A man who has been fighting an attempted-murder charge for years made a plea deal on April 8, the day his case was set for jury selection. Phillip Edwards Miller, previously identified as Phillip Esquire ...

Escondido truck vandal faces charges

David Gordon Huntley claims he was temporarily insane

A man on probation is accused of causing $5000 damage to a truck sitting on an Escondido car lot two months ago. At a court hearing on April 7, defendant David Gordon Huntley heard evidence ...

Children of man shot by Encinitas neighbor file lawsuit

Michael Vilkin made a quit-claim deed transfer of property after shooting

The children of a man who was allegedly shot to death by his neighbor on March 28, 2013, recently made new accusations against the alleged killer in their multimillion dollar wrongful-death suit. The last court ...

Suspected bike thieves rough up schoolboy

Two 18-year-olds busted — one divulges location of bicycle

A 16-year-old said he was riding his bike home from San Marcos High School on a Tuesday afternoon when he was confronted by two persons he had never seen before. “I just felt this punch,” ...

Escondido man denies stalking charge

Ex-convict accuses mother of his children of infidelity

Marco Antonio Carapia, 34, pleaded not guilty today, March 17, to felony stalking of the mother of his two children. “In his mind, I was screwing everybody,” a woman identified as Ashley told a judge. ...

Thief admits taking Reuben H. Fleet memorabilia

Plea deal made with felon

Edward Charles Peek admitted grand theft and was immediately sentenced to 16 months’ custody on Wednesday, March 12. He could have received as much as three years in prison for stealing what investigators described as ...

Ghazal Mansury denies killing 79-year-old mother

Daughter ordered to trial for mom's murder

Late yesterday, March 5, a judge ordered Ghazal Jessica Mansury, 42, to stand trial for the murder of her mother, Mehria Mansury, 79. Testimony during a three-day hearing suggested that Mehria might have been killed ...

The roommate who wanted the music turned down is dead

Goat noises and howling

“He attempted to punch me in the face as he ran towards me,” said Carlsbad police detective Scott Stallman. The murder suspect had become increasingly “agitated” and “animated” after detectives confronted him with evidence that ...

Escondido police heat up cold murder case

Rene Sanchez, then 16, denies shooting at Halloween party

On February 19, Rene Sanchez was brought into a San Diego courtroom, where he denied killing a man during a Halloween party at an Escondido home in 2007. Sanchez pleaded not guilty to one count ...

Murder trial delayed for Carlsbad housewife

Julie Harper accused in 2012 shooting of husband

The trial of Julie Elizabeth Harper, 40, who pleads not guilty to the murder of her 39-year-old husband while their children played downstairs, has been delayed from April until June of this year, on defense ...

Armed thugs shot in Vista sent to prison

Four years each for duo who tried to hold up Uncle Tony’s

Two men were sent to prison yesterday, February 19, after they admitted assault with a firearm inside a shopping mall eatery on January 3, 2014. Luís Enrique Cruz, 19, and Sergio Rivera Ramos, 24, were ...

Grandmother “did not like” her son-in-law

Cynthia Kaye Cdebaca denies murder but says she “was responsible”

A prosecutor said a 63-year-old grandmother reloaded her five-shot revolver twice and fired 15 rounds at her son-in-law, killing him in the home they shared in Fallbrook last week. The prosecutor spoke on February 18 ...

Surf rage at Swami’s: board used as weapon?

Kern Glaubitz admits to “making criminal threats"

Surfer Kern Vincent Glaubitz was charged with assault with a deadly weapon — a surfboard — by the San Diego County District Attorney’s office on January 15. After being held in custody two weeks, Glaubitz ...

Vista man denies murder and dumping body

Kirk Stapleton allegedly feared he had been exposed to AIDS

A sheriff’s detective claimed in court on February 11 that he has eight minutes of surveillance video showing a man pushing a shopping cart down the street to dump his girlfriend’s body beside a trash ...

Escondido teen accused of robberies at knife-point

Ruben Trejo Cardenas denies gang allegations

A criminal defense attorney on February 10 suggested that the tattoo “ESCO VIEJO” on his client merely expresses fondness for his hometown and is not connected to a violent street gang. “Esco viejo” translates as ...

Maximum sentence for Matthew Nathan Terrell

Would-be rapist lured victim to Carlsbad hotel room

Matthew Nathan Terrell, 28, was sentenced to six years prison for the attempted rape of a young woman he had met on the internet just the day before. A San Diego County Superior Court judge ...

Convicted child abuser committed suicide

Fugitive Joseph McCarron failed to show for jury verdict

A man considered a fugitive when he failed to show up for a jury verdict was declared dead by suicide in a report released by the San Diego County Medical Examiner on January 30. Joseph ...

Man in stolen car claimed to be Marine

CHP officer said he was given false ID

California Highway Patrol officer Adam DeGraffenreid said the license plate on the red Honda Accord came back registered to a Toyota on the afternoon of October 19, 2013. The driver said his name was Christian ...

Thugs shot by would-be victim make plea deals

Wounded defendants can expect four years prison

Two men who got shot while trying to rob Uncle Tony's Italian restaurant in Vista admitted to assault with a firearm, and each can expect four years in prison, according to their plea-deal paperwork. Louis ...

Escondido man suspected of being burglar extraordinaire

Repeat felon denies break-ins committed all over North County

Investigators claim they were able to connect a repeat felon to a string of burglaries in San Diego County through fingerprints and DNA he left behind. Thirty-one-year-old Roberto Lazaro Dimas pleads not guilty to eight ...

Escondido police called for domestic drama

Ballistic shield and police canine deployed to remove boyfriend

Officer Robert Craig said at a court hearing on January 21 that he was called to speak with a distraught woman on the evening of November 3 of last year. Twenty-seven-year-old Catalina Botello said she ...

Alleged Killgore killers may soon get death penalties

Two terabytes of new evidence found in defendant’s car

The San Diego County district attorney is ready to meet with defense attorneys regarding the possibility of seeking the death penalty in a high-profile murder case, a prosecutor said on January 17, 2014. Nearly two ...

Bloody fight in San Marcos goes to court

Beer-bottle bash to the head yields 30 stitches

“This is a mess,” said judge Harry Elias, commenting on a bloody street fight that happened last October in San Marcos; the matter came before his court January 14. The alleged victim, Elvis Gonzalez, claimed ...

Armed robbers got shot by their victim, deputies say

Wounded defendants brought into court

Two men who were allegedly shot when they tried to rob a Vista restaurant earlier this month were brought into court on January 8. Louis Enrique Cruz, 18, and Sergio Rivera Ramos, 24, both pleaded ...

Woman suspects use of date-rape drug in Encinitas

Deputies looking for alleged sex video

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s search-warrant log, a young woman suspects that she was given a date-rape drug while she was bar-hopping in Encinitas last month; she reported waking up later in a ...

Escondido police suspect cousins in robberies

Demand of “give me all the money” before pistol-whipping the clerk

Police found evidence connecting two men with at least four armed robberies that occurred recently in Escondido. One of them was due to be arraigned in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse for felony robbery ...

Pfingst and murder defendant win pre-trial hearings

Former San Diego County DA took evidence cash as "fee"

Former San Diego district attorney, current criminal defense lawyer Paul Pfingst will remain as counsel for a woman accused of murdering her husband, a judge ruled on January 3. In November, prosecutor Keith Watanabe alleged ...

Frederick Hengl’s death in holding cell declared "natural"

Husband who reportedly cooked wife was in poor health

Frederick Joseph Hengl, 69, accused of killing his wife and cooking parts of her on the stovetop in their Oceanside home, died in a “natural” manner, according to the county medical examiner. Hengl was found ...

Serial shoplifter popped in O'side, claims to be a fed

“He steals with impunity,” says deputy DA

Tom C. Vuong, 50, allegedly made a ruckus at the Walmart on the corner of College Boulevard and Highway 76 on December 15. He was arrested for his actions. According to testimony given in court ...

Inlaws and outlaws

Shots fired on the San Pascual Res

Michelle Ortega said Richard Murillo showed her the gun when he met her down by the front gate of her property on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation in Valley Center. It was after 11 o’clock ...

Defendants in Killgore murder case got new attorneys

Maraglino, one of the accused, wants to hurry things along

Dorothy Maraglino, a 38-year-old woman from Fallbrook who is currently charged with kidnap, torture, and murder, said, “I’m prepared to represent myself” in San Diego Superior Court on December 18, 2013. Maraglino made the statement ...

Fast verdict for assault in Carlsbad motel room

Matthew Nathan Terrell could get probation or six years prison

A jury declared Matthew Nathan Terrell guilty of assault with intent to commit rape and false imprisonment, on December 18. The attack happened in a Carlsbad motel room on June 9, 2013. The jury declared ...

Encinitas plumber says he was threatened and robbed

Young worker claims unwanted sexual advances and he wasn't paid

During a court hearing on December 11, Michael Welch claimed that a houseguest, Bryan Paul Jeffries, 30, threatened and punched him and demanded money in December of 2012. The attorney for Jeffries suggested that he ...

Escondido burglars sent to prison

Armed with baseball bats, but crime spree stopped by Navy veterans

On December 5, Antonio Gabriel Amador, 18, and Brandon Douglas Martinez, 20, were both sentenced to seven years in state prison for burglary and robbery. In their plea deals, four other felonies were dismissed for ...

Deputies say they caught San Marcos burglar

Allegedly connected to other crimes through pawn shop

After officers witnessed a young man leap from a second-story window of a San Marcos home this summer, deputy Jason Allen asked him what he was doing. “He said, ‘Uh, breaking and entering?’” The deputy ...

Stepdaughter charged in Escondido murder

Asiatae Robinette Bell denies breaking off two knives in 54-year-old woman

“This 35-year-old defendant stabbed her 54-year-old stepmother over 15 times with two separate knives,” a prosecutor said as Asiatae Robinette Bell glared at the deputy district attorney from a holding cell. Last week, on November ...

Man punches dog, scares cats

Steals from elderly, punches animals...now we pay for his lodging.

Kenny Lowary is accused of stealing from the elderly and punching a police dog. Now taxpayers pay for his accommodations.

Former DA Pfingst and accused murderer Julie Harper

Prosecutor accused attorney of removing items of evidence

Deputy district attorney Keith Watanabe said that he intends to call a former DA of San Diego County, Paul Pfingst, as a witness in an upcoming murder trial. Pfingst, now a private criminal defense attorney, ...

Convicted child abuser skipped before the verdict

Joseph Vincent McCarron on the run, forfeits bail

A man declared guilty of multiple counts of child abuse is reportedly on the run, according to court records. Joseph Vincent McCarron, 58, was declared guilty last week of abusing two little girls, both under ...

Larcenists' loot displayed in Valley Center

Detective Whalen tells of burglary ring with multiple perps

The recovery of one pile of stolen loot led to another and another, according to one San Diego County sheriff’s detective. “I’ve been trying to find all the victims,” said detective Laura Whalen on November ...

Reptile Super Show in downtown San Diego

Mutant snakes, biting frogs

Ricardo Contreras said he arrived at 7 a.m. on Saturday, November 2, to ensure he would be first in line for the Reptile Super Show. Organizers of the two-day event opened the doors at 10 ...

Man accused of shoplifting and battery at Vista grocery

Claimed he had AIDS and threatened to bite, witness said

“He tried biting me on my left bicep,” said Alvaro Miranda, who is a loss prevention officer for a grocery store in Vista. “Shortly after that, he said, ‘I have AIDS and I’m gonna bite ...

Vista neighbor accused of arson

Woman said she saw the man next door use a lighter

The petite Vietnamese lady said she saw her neighbor do it. Miss Ut Jones said she was outside gardening when “He start the fire three time," the elderly woman said with a heavy accent in ...

Zip tie terror

The photographer brought zip-ties and duct tape

Matthew Nathan Terrell pretended he was a photographer to lure a college girl to a motel room. Once she was there, Terrell allegedly attempted to bind her with zip-ties. There was a struggle and the girl was able to get away after biting him more than once.

Burglary Glen

Hanging out at Grandma’s, ripping off her neighbors

Eva Knott’s findings from the court files of 21-year-old Wyatt Taylor Johnson, who burglarized a handful of his grandmother’s neighbors and pawned their stolen possessions. He admitted to four counts of first-degree felony burglary and expects to get four years prison when he is sentenced on November 18.

Five million dollars in art and jewelry taken from Rancho Santa Fe home

Detective wants public to watch for unique items stolen from estate

A wealthy estate in Rancho Santa Fe had more than $5 million worth of art and jewelry stolen, seven weeks ago, according to a San Diego County Sheriff’s detective. “We have been and we continue ...

Work. Party. Brawl.

Slashing at your employees at Christmastime — tsk, tsk.

Escondido taco-shop owner Juan Rivas got into an altercation with his employees a week before Christmas. Though he claimed not to have been an instigator, he did go to jail for slashing at employees with a utility knife/tool.

Shot in the face

Two more victims and another gangster in jail.

Lisa Badgett was shot in the face while behind the wheel of her truck. She’d gone to Oceanside to pick up her boyfriend. The perpetrator was a neighbor who suspected his gas was being stolen by Robbie Robbins, the boyfriend, who did not survive the assault.