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Stories by Eva Knott

Yay! Got the cash and pills

Julie Harper lawyer Paul Pfingst says money needed to pay experts

Paul Pfingst, defense attorney for accused murderer Julie Harper, successfully got 12 items of evidence released from the district attorney during a court hearing yesterday, April 13. This included $30,000 in cash, some of which ...

Hey, Doshay, they got your DNA

Alleged would-be kidnapper's father is not cooperating, says prosecutor

Jack Henry Doshay, 22, is accused of kidnapping a child at a Solana Beach elementary school two weeks ago. “The sheriff’s crime lab was able to confirm that the defendant’s DNA was in fact on ...

John Doe Number One goes after Jeffrey Barton

Witness claims abuse at Carlsbad military academy

A man who claimed he was abused at a military academy when he was 14 said he feared his abuser would kill him if he revealed the abuse, according to grand jury transcripts made available ...

Mine shafted

Former Marine at Twentynine Palms denies killing neighbor’s wife

A cheating husband lured his married, pregnant girlfriend to a remote desert location by hinting that he was going to propose marriage to her, but instead the woman was strangled and hidden in a mine ...

Didn't mean to shoot you in the face

Killer comes clean, but a dirty, dirty state prison likely awaits

An Oceanside man accused of shooting two people pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on March 27. Diego Arturo Martinez admitted to firing the rifle that killed Robert Earl Robbins, 47, the night of August 29, ...

Release the Resident Alien repeat offender

On meth for half his life, Mexican national makes felony plea deal

A repeat offender from Escondido, Juan Mozo Roldan, 29, made a felony plea deal and is expected to be released from custody on April 8, 2015. In his most recent incident last December, Roldan evaded ...

Kiss your asset goodbye

Michael Vilkin signed quit-claim deed upon learning of wrongful-death suit

“The Court grants Plaintiff’s request to set aside the transfer of the property from Mr. Vilkin to Mrs. Vilkin,” a superior court judge wrote in a judgment published last week. The court’s decision appears to ...

Daughter talked her way into jail following matricide

Almost proud

Ghazal Mansury could lift 100 pounds, or about the weight of her mom.

The accused is with child!

And the prosecutor says Julie Harper, to be retried for murder, abused opiates

The defense attorney for Julie Harper has stated that she is pregnant and her due date is mid-May, and so it would be “impractical” for her to undergo a re-trial as scheduled, according to papers ...

Lost in homicidal ideation

Defendant says he was "just a sitting duck, waiting to be shot"

Michael Vilkin, 63, was sentenced to 64 years to life in prison yesterday, March 18, nine months after he was declared guilty of murder for shooting his neighbor, John Upton, after repeated confrontations over trimming ...

Car as weapon?

Pedestrian struck after rude confrontation in Oceanside

In North County’s Superior Court on March 10, a young woman testified that she heard “pretty vulgar things” as she walked past a bar in Oceanside four months ago. The 22-year-old brunette said there were ...

Twice-guilty burglar claims innocence

Man says cop must have seen his own reflection in the window

A repeat felon heard closing arguments yesterday, March 9, during the re-trial of his most recent alleged burglary in which he is accused of stealing items from a Carlsbad home in August of 2013. During ...

Startled trigger finger to blame

Michael James Hemphill pleads not guilty in killing of Brandon Sanchez

A man charged with murder for shooting an old friend at point-blank range did not intend to kill, according to opening statements made in court on February 18. Michael James Hemphill turned 60 years old ...

The case of the rotten gym rat

Suspect allegedly broke into lockers in the early morning

Deputies arrested a repeat felon who broke into lockers at a series of LA Fitness gyms around North County San Diego last spring, it was alleged in court on February 3. A woman named Meggan ...

Does that mean there's no herbal Viagra?

Fraudster Dennis Long makes plea deal after bilking fellow churchgoers

Dennis Eugene Long, 65, admitted to defrauding the faithful in a plea deal on January 29. The defendant pleaded guilty to five felonies, including multiple counts of grand theft and one residential burglary; plus, he ...

Case dismissal, my eye!

Judge drops some charges, but sexual-abuse case to go to trial

The attorney for a man accused of abusing boys at the Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad asked for the case to be dismissed on January 30. The judge declined; however, he did dismiss 3 of ...

Gunman gets 100 years in prison — "overly harsh"?

Defense attorney unsuccessful at getting Jeffrey McCreary's sentence reduced

An Escondido man found guilty of shooting to death a young mother in the back of a car was sentenced to 100 years to life in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on January 28. ...

Death by bathroom door?

Jury begins deliberations in case of Mehria Mansury's alleged murder

According to her defense attorney’s closing arguments on January 26, Ghazal Mansury went to open the bathroom door, knocked over her mom, and then asked if she was okay; her mom said, “Yes,” so Ghazal ...

"Beat down" confused as "frolic"

Lawyer for assault suspect corrected by judge

“The first thing he said was, 'You been talking a lot of shit I heard,' then the second thing he said was, 'Get your arm off my girl,'” a taxi driver said during more than ...

One in the gut. One in the head.

When words won’t do, bullets get the job done.

“I have been trained to shoot special way, in Russian military,” Vilkin told the jury.

Mom killer gets 25 to life

Bryan Chang will be eligible for parole in 20 years

“I think the jury got it wrong, and so we are asking you to sit as the 13th juror,” the defense attorney for Bryan Chenhua Chang said to a judge today, January 13. The attorney ...

"Pull over" interpreted as "speed up"

Escondido police collar alleged repeat offender

“I’ve arrested him in past,” Escondido police officer John Grohn said in court on January 8. “As soon as I saw him, I knew who it was.” Officer Grohn testified at a hearing for Juan ...

“Open sanctuary for criminals” in Encinitas

Hotbed of heroin and gang members, says deputy

A woman who was arrested at her Encinitas home 11 days ago made it to court on January 2, but she did not enter a plea to charges of resisting arrest and being under the ...

Texts and death in Oceanside

Messages of love...and death

In 2006, when he was 17, Arturo Salazar came north from Oaxaca, Mexico. He attended El Camino High School in Oceanside where he met 15-year-old Edith Garcia. “She was the woman that I loved from ...

Head of Schools for military academy hopes for a technicality

Attorney for Jeffrey Barton will move to dismiss case

Jeffrey S. Barton was brought into a San Diego Superior Courtroom yesterday, December 15, handcuffed and wearing black-framed eyeglasses, where he pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of felony child abuse. Barton turned 57 years ...

Valley Center man pleads not guilty to making false bomb report

Frits Versteegh made first court appearance

An elderly Valley Center man accused of threatening to bomb SDG&E trucks was briefly in court this morning, December 12. Frits Versteegh, 75, pleaded not guilty to making a false bomb report, charged as a ...

Defendants in torture-murder case avoid death penalty

Persons accused in Brittany Killgore's death might face life without parole.

The possibility of the death penalty was removed from three defendants, Louis Perez, 48, Jessica Lopez, 27, and Dorothy Maraglino, 39, who learned during a hearing today that the maximum penalty they might face will ...

Chinchilla rancher Lurlie Adams passes away

"Borrowed time" runs out for elderly woman suing PETA for false claims

“She’s 90 years old. That right there seems good enough to me. You know, she’s on borrowed time if you look at statistics. So, I am concerned about having this case drag on.” A superior ...

Disgruntled and cooperative

Elderly Valley Center man allegedly threatened to bomb SDG&E

Deputies say they arrested 75-year-old Frits Versteegh late on December 4, after he reportedly sent a bomb threat by email to a news station’s website. In a press release, a San Diego County sheriff’s spokesman ...

They say Lil Vampy did the shooting

Hearing held for alleged murderers of John Fernandez

Luis Antonio Trujillo, 34, Donnie Jack Massett, 32, and Elaina Lynn Paramore, 32, are all charged with murder for benefit of a street gang in connection with a killing in 2011. There was a hearing ...

Young gangster wastes life

“The lengthy prison term is for defendants just like Mr. Flores.”

Fallbrook gang member Christopher Flores was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 30 years to life plus another 20 years in state prison on Monday, December 1. The total years were compounded because of ...

Former cop to go on trial again

Technicality overturns manslaughter conviction for fatal crash

Fifty-three-year-old Katherine Ann Heinzel, a former cop who was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, is due in San Diego Superior Court again on Monday, November 24. Heinzel is said to have been a ...

Life in prison? "I didn't plan this."

Destin Withers sentenced to life for murder of Mayorama Rodriguez

“There was never anything pre-meditated to murder this girl — I was driving the vehicle when this happened,” said Destin Lee Withers, 38, before he was sentenced to life in prison on November 18. The ...

Later, gangster

Thug guilty of killing a dad while young son tried pulling him away

Rene Sanchez, now 23 years old, was found guilty of shooting a man to death at a Halloween party in Escondido seven years ago; the verdict was announced late yesterday, November 19. Sanchez was 16 ...

Everyday meth snorter at age 13

With multiple convictions behind him, Gregory Smith gets another chance

Vista resident Gregory Dwight Smith, 47, was given credit for time already served and ordered into three years of formal probation in San Diego Superior Court on November 13. Smith began his criminal history when ...

No medical miracle in Valley Center

Robert Young, not a physician, accused of fake cancer cures

On November 5, Robert Oldham Young of Valley Center was ordered to face six felony charges, including practicing medicine without a license and grand theft by fraud at the end of a three-week preliminary hearing. ...

Life plus 25 years for 20-year-old

Convicted for shooting fellow gangster who wanted out

A 20-year-old Fallbrook gangster was sentenced to life in prison, plus 25 years, in San Diego Superior Court on November 7. Judge Blaine Bowman spoke to Sergio Huerta Ramirez, telling him to notice that none ...

Maybe crazy, but not insane

Bryan Chang declared sane at the time he killed his mother

After Bryan Chang admitted killing his mother, four years later, the question became: was he crazy when he killed her? This morning, November 6, after a three-week trial, a jury declared that Chang was sane ...

Solana Beach horror story continues

Bryan Chang did things too gruesome to include in a headline (warning)

In the second week of a sanity trial for admitted murderer Bryan Chang, 33, jurors heard testimony from the doctor who performed the autopsy on his mother, a computer expert who gathered email evidence, and ...

"This case is as serious as it gets"

Former Army Navy Academy administrator faces 23 child-abuse charges

The attorney for 56-year-old Jeffrey Barton, former administrator at the Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, abruptly cancelled a bail hearing on Friday, October 24, immediately after a judge said he would allow news cameras to ...

"She was killed in a frenzy"

Vista man who used shopping cart to dump body found guilty

A man accused of wheeling his deceased girlfriend down the street in a shopping cart to dump her body near a trash bin was found guilty of first-degree murder this week. Kirk Leon Stapleton, 54, ...

A bona fide chinchilla rescue, asserts PETA

Animal-rights group says Vista breeder’s methods were cruel

An attorney in Virginia who stated that he represented PETA for more than 30 years, Philip J. Hirschkop, responded to questions about a multimillion-dollar civil suit filed in San Diego County last week by attorneys ...

Dueling sanity experts expected

Bryan Chang used a hammer to kill his mother, attorneys say

The young man had delusions that his mother was “destroying him” so he had to “destroy her,” according to a defense attorney who spoke at the beginning of a sanity-murder-trial yesterday afternoon, October 21. Bryan ...

Former chinchilla rancher sues PETA for millions

Foundation portrayed Lurlie Adams in a "false light," say attorneys

Two attorneys for an elderly Vista woman who filed a lawsuit claiming defamation and one attorney responding for the PETA Foundation were in court today, October 16. The attorneys for Lurlie Adams, who sold her ...

Long's tales

Dennis Long took more than $1 million from churchgoers, prosecutor says

New details about a million-dollar scam perpetrated by a Carlsbad man will be revealed at a preliminary hearing early next year, according to a statement by prosecutor Anna Winn on October 14. Dennis Eugene Long, ...

Can’t leave the country, can’t go to L.A.

Julie Harper faces trial again, accused of second-degree murder

Even though a jury acquitted her of first-degree murder at the end of a trial two weeks ago, Carlsbad housewife Julie Harper could still face the possibility of 40 years in prison if she is ...

Death for all three of them?

Alleged murderers of Brittany Killgore could face ultimate penalty

Louis Ray Perez, 48, Dorothy Gracemarie Maraglino, 39, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 27, were all in court on Friday, October 10. The defendants deny all accusations pertaining to the kidnapping, torturing, and murder of a ...

Who did it then, Frank?

Escondido man denies hammer and knife attack on wife last month

Frank Brauns, 43, denies hammering and stabbing his wife after an argument two weeks ago in Escondido. On October 7, he was listening to testimony against him at a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior ...

Someone pleads guilty to first-degree murder

Brian Chang admits killing his mother in Solana Beach in 2010

This morning, October 7, in San Diego Superior Court, a Los Angeles man admitted murdering his mother in her million-dollar Solana Beach home nearly five years ago. Brian Chang, now 33, pleaded guilty to first-degree ...

No, the prosecution will not rest

Accused murderer Diego Martinez faces new charges in Oceanside shooting

Diego Arturo Martinez, who was acquitted of murder and attempted murder at the end of a trial three months ago, had new charges filed against him in court on Tuesday, September 30. During a three-week ...

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