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Sixty-three-year-old Michael Sahagun reportedly told a trio of thugs who attempted to rob him in his own garage, “Well then shoot me,” before he was killed with a single shotgun blast to his chest. Sahagun was refusing to cooperate with demands to empty his pockets and raise his hands.

Joseph Robertson Verkade, 35, is accused of being the shooter at the home on Valley Street in Carlsbad. It was in the early morning hours of April Fools Day, 2011, that neighbors heard what they described as a “pop,” and then Mrs. Frances Munoz Sahagun screaming when she found her husband.

According to authorities, Grant MacGregor Hunter, 24, told a third party that he rushed the fatally wounded man and added a knife slash to the chest wound before he went through the dying man’s pockets. Hunter took with him a “quarter ounce” of an unspecified substance when he and Verkade and Mercedes Tiffany Yorba, 20, allegedly ran back to the get-away vehicle, a truck driven by Michael Allen Gault, 31.

There was testimony that Heather Marie Smedley a.k.a. Strauch, 33, was seated on the back bench of the extended-cab truck and her feet rested on the sawed-off shotgun placed on the floorboards, wrapped in green plastic and somebody’s jacket.

Surveillance videos from an Oceanside motel and gasoline station reportedly trace the movements of certain persons and the truck involved in the crime.

All six defendants were ordered held for trial at the end of a multi-day preliminary hearing in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse. Each pleads not guilty through a public defender.

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