Bart Mendoza 5 a.m., Dec. 8
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Graham Downes sudden death raises questions the UT failed to ask
UPDATE 05/02/2013 I did a public records search on Higinio Soriano Salgado He is in the South Bay jail. Date Booked: 04/19/2013 Time Booked: 10:08:27
A046604960 2 1 HOLD Rel Dt/Tm: Agency: ICE 0 CD247657 1 1 187(A) PC ATMP - MURDER:FIRST DEGREE F SD30 05/29/2013 08:15 FP $3,000,000
The booking record is noteworthy because it indicates he is only 5' 05". I'm still not sure why they are saying his middle name is Soriano when all public records show it's his last name and he has no alias'.
Here is the Booking Nbr: 13726709.
He is 320 pounds, but I still don't think he could beat Graham to a bloody pulp without getting a scratch.
Since he was booked at 10:08 on Friday and the fight occurred late Thursday early morning Friday, I assume the time discrepancy means he was taken to the hospital, but there is no indication that he was taken to the hospital and treated for any wounds. So I would still like to know if he was taken to the hospital with Graham.
Also I still have yet to see or find a mugshot. There may be one but there is not a mugshot available on public records request for him nor an arrest record. (Again, not saying it doesn't exist, just saying it's not available for one reason or another).
Additionally, if you look at the 2 images of Soriano that are available after the arrest he doesn't have a single visible scratch on him. I find this particularly noteworthy considering this was a brawl that ended in Graham's head being fractured in multiple places...that Graham a World Cup rugby player would not have left a scratch on Soriano during the deadly brawl. So the more I learn, the more questions I have.
Here is more odd reporting by Fox on 04/24/2013:
"Higinio Soriano Salgado, 31, was initially charged Tuesday with attempted murder because the victim, 56-year-old Graham Downes, had not been declared legally dead.
Downes died Wednesday after being taken off life support.
Salgado allegedly inflicted major head injuries on Downes about 1 a.m. last Friday during a party at the victim’s home in the 200 block of West Juniper Street.
Patrol officers responding to a reported disturbance found the two men on the ground in front of the architect’s residence. Downes was unconscious with severe facial and head injuries.
At the defendant’s initial arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund told Judge David Szumowski that Salgado, a property manager for the victim’s company, beat Downes, fracturing his skull in several places."
What is so odd about that?
For one this claim: "Salgado allegedly inflicted major head injuries on Downes about 1 a.m. last Friday during a party at the victim’s home in the 200 block of West Juniper Street."
Because there was NO ONE there when the cops arrived. This party, according to the latest UT report, actually ended several hours earlier. So if that is the case the brawl did not occur "during" a party. It occurred long after a party had ended and to this date, two weeks later, I have yet to see a single person from the party interviewed. This is not normal reporting.
For another, the defendant was found laying next to Downes on the street implying he was also passed out and again Soriano has no visible scratches after this epic battle that left both men lying on the ground, one unconscious.
Incidentally, Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund was involved in the ticket-fixing case in February.
Deputy District Attorney Worden allegedly tried to get out of a ticket by mentioning to the officer that she and Maund were deputy district attorneys. When that didn’t work, she called a friend, police Sgt. Kevin Friedman, and asked him to “do something.” http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/20/deputy-da-ticket-fixing-resigns/
And just to add yet another crazy fact to this case, the judge, Judge David Szumowski....... is blind.
The UT has a new story which answers some questions and raises others.
So my question is where did the UT get the story that there was a party at Downes place if when the cops arrived no one was there but Downes and Soriano?
I'm still not sure how they ruled out the possibility of a 3rd party in the assault. I'd like to hear more about where the narrative came from. And I'd like someone to get the 911 call. If you know anything please share it with us.
"Downes’ skull was fractured in several places. .....
Although the county Medical Examiner’s Office has listed the case on its website, a prosecutor said Tuesday that Downes is not legally dead, and therefore the defendant cannot yet be charged with murder.
Danielle Gano, a spokeswoman for Graham Downes Architecture, said Tuesday night that Downes was being kept on life-support systems pending organ donation.
San Diego Superior Court Judge David Szumowski set Soriano’s bail at $3 million and scheduled a status conference for Friday.
Authorities were called to the residence about 1:10 a.m. Friday by neighbors who heard yelling and screaming.
Police said there had been a social gathering at Downes’ home Thursday evening. When officers arrived, they found only Soriano and Downes, who were work associates.
Maund said in court that she asked for high bail because Soriano has ties to Mexico and is building a home there."
The Union Tribune seems much more interested in eulogizing architect Graham Downes than investigating what actually happened to him. The acclaimed Architect sadly died Sunday from injuries he sustained Friday night in Bankers Hill.
I'd only met Graham a handful of times but I, like most people, admired him greatly. It always gave me great comfort when I'd drive by his projects knowing this talented innovative Architect/Developer was busy in his Barrio Logan office working on new cutting-edge design projects to expand his impressive empire. He was a force of good in the San Diego development world that is so notorious for substandard, uninspired banality. It's no secret I have been extremely critical of developers, but that is not because I oppose development, it's because most developers don't actually care about the buildings they are building nor do they understand the enormous importance of the built environment and their role in fashioning that environment. But Graham did. Graham understood EXACTLY what redevelopment and revitalization looked like.
So when I heard about his death Sunday night I felt sick. The magnitude of losing this icon was beyond anything I could fathom. What would San Diego do without Graham Downes?
I was immediately filled with rage that someone had stolen this innovative design genius from us. So I read the article in the UT looking for some answers about why he was dead, but unfortunately I was left with far more questions than answers.
"Downes, 56, had been hospitalized, in critical condition, since early Friday morning after a confrontation with an employee of his architecture firm. When San Diego police officers arrived at Downes’ residence on West Juniper Street near Albatross Street at about 1:10 a.m., they found two men on the ground, homicide Lt. Jorge Duran said. A party was going on at the time at Downes' home, and the men had confronted each other outside, Duran reported.
The employee, Higinio Salgado, 31, was jailed Friday on suspicion of attempted murder."
That was it. That was the only info about why Graham was no longer with us. The rest of the article went into long diatribes waxing poetic about why Downes was such an important figure to San Diego. But quite honestly, that just made me angrier. Why hadn't the UT done any investigative work into this murder. This was a murder after all.
I went to Graham Downes website and found the employee Higinio Soriano, but no Salgado. And it appeared that Higinio only operated by the name Soriano from everything I could find. He was the Development Manager at Blokhaus Capital Corporation since 2008. And prior to that the Construction manager at Blokhaus Development. He also had a B.S. in Finance from San Diego State so the guy was clearly educated in business which may be a clue about why the two were fighting. Why hadn't the UT found what took me 2 minutes to find online?
Were they arguing about money. Did Higinio embezzle him? Did Downes not pay him? Why were these two fighting and WHO gave the police the story that they were fighting in the first place? Why had the police ruled out the possibility of a third party?
If there are witnesses why aren't they being quoted or interviewed for this huge story? There was a party going on at Downes' house at the time of the altercation (which was right outside the house). Didn't all the party-goers run outside to try and break up the fight? Where is their testimony? Its hard to imagine the police would leave this scene without getting every witness on record.
It's also hard to believe that anyone could beat the burly rugby player to a bloody pulp without a weapon or third party. I briefly saw Soriano's head shot on Graham's website before they took it down today and from what I could see the guy barely had a neck which would suggest to me that he isn't that tall. So how did he kill Graham with his bare hands? Was there a weapon? Was there premeditation?
And if the cops knew there had been an altercation between the two of them, as opposed to both of them being beaten to a bloody pulp by a third party, where did that information come from? Since the cops found both of them on the ground it seems like there would have been other people out there trying to administer CPR. Did the cops literally arrive to two guys laying in the street passed out with no one around?
And if both were laying in the street they must have taken both to the hospital, but that is totally left out of the story. And they must have read Soriano his miranda rights prior to taking him in so why would he admit to beating Graham to near death? Wouldn't he remain silent? This would mean there are witnesses somewhere. In a news story like this you almost always see the interviews with the witnesses at the scene of the crime. I'm not saying this story is fabricated, I'm saying this reporting is so shoddy it's unreal.
The gist of the story is "Graham Downes died as a result of injuries he received from a fight Friday with a guy that works for him....bummer....now 3 paragraphs about why he was so admired as an architect". They made it sound like it was just an unfortunate by-product of a typical Friday night brawl.
Yeah, we all know Graham was a great architect, but right now we wanna know why he is no longer with us. We want to see a mugshot. A newspaper always shows a mugshot with a story like this. This is unacceptable and it's unacceptable that all the other media sources are just copying this pathetic excuse for reporting. Someone out there needs to get the 911 call, the police report, the mugshot, and most importantly every witness imaginable and break this down.
And I would not count on Bonnie Dumanis to deliver any justice to Graham. I would not be a bit surprised to see her drop the case because of a "lack of evidence" because the cops in San Diego are so profoundly inept and her department is so unprofessional. The media has a responsibility here. Graham was such an amazing part of our city and we were lucky to have him. He was murdered and he deserves justice.