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Stories by Eva Knott

Notorious drug house goes up in flames

Home on Rancho Encinitas Drive has history of search warrants and arrests

Emergency personnel responded to reports of a fire at 3:45 a.m. yesterday at a home located at 1507 Rancho Encinitas Drive. The home was known to law enforcement as the target of search warrants and ...

New judge for accused murderer

No reason given by attorney for Christopher Brandon Lee

Tuesday (July 7), news broke that a three-judge panel has unanimously decided to allow Christopher Brandon Lee to change judges before the start of his murder trial. Lee, 25, is accused of lying-in-wait and murder ...

Dishonor among dopers

Nico tried to get out.

Definitely done with Sergio.

How the churchgoer preyed...

Dennis Long had the confidence of over a dozen people

A superior court judge sentenced admitted fraudster Dennis Eugene Long to 12 years in state prison during a hearing on Friday, June 12. Sixty-five-year-old Long read a “statement of apology” before he heard the judge ...

No guns — anger management for you

Valley Center man avoided jail time in bomb-threat case

A 76-year-old Valley Center man pleaded guilty to making a false bomb report and was sentenced earlier this month, on June 2. Frits Versteegh received probation, according to prosecutor Cal Logan, who said it was ...

And don't compare them to the Manson Family

Attorneys for alleged killers of Brittany Killgore get slack from judge

A superior court judge made decisions yesterday (June 5) regarding the admissibility of evidence that defense attorneys hoped to suppress in the upcoming trial for three persons accused of killing Brittany Killgore. The naked body ...

Oh, no — the judge looks like the accused

Defense attorney asks for suspension of Christopher Lee murder trial

The murder case against Christopher Brandon Lee was suspended at a hearing in a San Bernardino County courthouse today, May 26. Defense attorney David Kaloyanides had petitioned an appeals court four weeks ago, on April ...

Pit bull kills dachshund; man kills pit bull

Wiener dog avenged

Felony animal cruelty or protecting his puppy?

Strike struck

Burglar gets lesser sentence while prosecutor argues for more

A superior court judge gave a man he described as a “career criminal” a compromise sentence of 24 years in state prison today, May 18. Probation officers had suggested that a term of 36 years ...

Accused murderer of McStays prepped for court

Charles Ray Merritt denies killing family of four

Charles Ray Merritt, now 58, denies killing Joseph McStay, 40, wife Summer McStay, 43, and their two sons, 4-year-old Giovanni, and 3-year-old Joseph Jr. in 2010. Defendant Merritt and Joseph McStay were partners in a ...

Eh, keep the brass knuckles

Parents of Jack Henry Doshay ask for their computers back

An attorney for Glenn and Karen Doshay is asking a judge to order return of certain items that were seized by deputies while investigating their son as a suspect in a kidnapping case. The property ...

Is there a naturopathic practitioner in the house?

And is Dr. Robert Oldham Young a doctor or not?

An attorney for the Valley Center man who is accused of practicing medicine without a license and defrauding cancer sufferers of thousands of dollars for fake cures asked a judge to suppress certain evidence at ...

Can't get enough of those guns and knives

Michael James Hemphill takes a shot at appealing his case

Michael James Hemphill was found guilty of first-degree murder at the end of a jury trial in February. Using a handgun, he killed a man in Escondido two years ago. Hemphill was sentenced to 75 ...

The teenager next door sure didn't help

Encinitas shooter sent away to mental hospital before he was sentenced

A man who admitted firing a handgun at his Encinitas neighbor in 2012 was sent away to a mental hospital on April 15. “After much litigation he was found not competent to be sentenced, and ...

No plea deal — 12 years in the clink

Fraudster called a swindler, a fake, crook, false prophet, predator...

On April 28, statements from victims of admitted fraudster Dennis Eugene Long so impressed a judge that he broke the plea deal in order to sentence the con artist to 12 years in prison instead ...

Married for 22 years, stabbed 30 times

Man who admits murdering his wife expects 20 years prison

A 50-year-old Mexican national admitted stabbing his wife to death and expects to get 20 years in a California state prison at his sentencing next month. The admission on the felony plea deal form reads: ...

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 ...

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