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A boy 3-1/2 months old was the youngest homicide victim in San Diego County during the first half of 2007. The oldest was a 75-year-old woman. Both were killed by family members, allegedly, the infant by its father and the woman by her daughter.There were 53 homicide cases between January 1 and June 30, 2006. There were 66 during the same period of this year. Some cases have received high-profile media attention.

One is the gruesome case of Allen Burton Hawes, whose body parts were found scattered all over San Diego County. Another is the killing of professional surfer Emery Kauanui in La Jolla. Some cases, such as one at Parkway Plaza on May 9, deemed at first to be suspicious deaths, were later classified as suicides.

Officer-involved shootings resulting in a death are investigated by the district attorney. Those that are determined to be justifiable are not statistically included in annual reports of area homicides. The February 10, 2007, shooting of 17-year-old Noe Rojas during a traffic stop resulted from officers observing what appeared to be a "blue steel revolver with a red tip sitting on the shelf near the glove box." It turned out to be a toy gun. The shooting was found to be justified and is not labeled as a homicide.

Also deemed defensible was the killing of a 22-year-old Cardiff man, who was mowed down by a citizen's car in Pacific Beach on March 17. In another case, although Michael Ray Estrada claims it was self-defense when he shot Victor Arreola in Fallbrook on January 7, 2007, he faces trial for murder. This latter case is the second on this list of homicides committed in San Diego County in the first half of 2007. Included is each homicide's investigation status; this further information is provided by updated press releases from the detectives of the respective homicide units in various area law enforcement agencies and their public-information and media-relations officers.


230 Via de San Ysidro, San Diego

January 7, 12:31 p.m.

At 12:05 p.m., officers were dispatched to the Economy Inn. Multiple gunshots had been heard. In a second-floor room, they found a male suffering from a gunshot wound. Paramedics attempted lifesaving measures, but the victim was pronounced dead at 12:31 p.m. A vehicle that had left the scene was located in the 1600 block of Fresno Avenue in Chula Vista. In a follow-up at a residence in the 1100 block of Del Mar Avenue, officers received information that a second shooting victim had been transported to Tijuana for medical care.

SDPD Homicide has identified the victim as David Ramos, 22. They say they are still working on the case.


713 East Elder Street, Fallbrook

January 7, 5:59 p.m.

Sheriff's Department received a call from an area resident about a shooting at the Fallbrook Village Apartments. Deputies arrived at that location at 6:04 p.m. and found a Hispanic male adult lying in front of the apartment complex. Paramedics attempted to give first aid to the victim but were unable to revive him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial reports indicate that the victim was involved in an altercation with at least one other male immediately preceding the shooting.

Sheriff's Homicide Unit identified the victim as Victor Arreola, 32. Victor was employed as an assembly worker at the water-treatment product manufacturer R.O. UltraTec USA in Fallbrook. His brother Ceasar Arreola-Pablo told police that he was watching TV while his brother left the apartment with a load of laundry. He heard shots fired, ran out, and saw his brother lying on a sidewalk, holding his chest and saying, "They screwed me." Ceasar stated that he saw two men; one used a silver-colored gun to fire again at Victor before they ran away.

An arrest warrant was issued for Michael Ray Robledo, 26. He was arrested January 16, 2007. San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force spotted Robledo riding in a vehicle near the 1000 block of Old Stage Road. Once the car stopped, Robledo took off on foot. He was captured in the 1000 block of Main Street. He was charged with one count of murder and held on $1 million bail. It was learned his true surname is Estrada, not Robledo. He was arraigned on May 30, 2007, and pleaded not guilty for reasons of self-defense. Deputy Public Defender Kathleen Cannon's position is that this shooting was in self-defense, because the victim was chasing Estrada with a baseball bat: her client was not only defending himself but also trying to protect other residents of the East Elder Street apartment complex. "A bat is deadly force, and it can be met with deadly force," Cannon told the court. "I don't think the evidence establishes an intent to kill."

Deputy District Attorney Debra Daley did not agree that the self-defense criteria had been met, because Arreloa had held the bat well out of striking distance. Daley said, "Had he swung the bat, it wouldn't have made a difference, because they were 28 feet apart."

Deputy District Attorney David Greenberg says that a third of the 15 murder cases pending in North County involve self-defense claims. "Acquittals aren't very often," Greenberg states. "Hopefully, we've ferreted those out [in advance] so they didn't get tried."

Judge Joan Weber ordered Michael Ray Estrada to stand trial for murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.


State Route 94 and Euclid Avenue, Emerald Hills

January 10, 5:30 p.m.

Filirican Torres, 24, was hit by a big rig and several other vehicles on the freeway. California Highway Patrol investigators at first considered this a pedestrian accident, with Torres at fault, until witnesses came forward and stated that they had seen her falling to the roadway from a moving vehicle before she was hit by the other vehicles. The vehicle from which Torres fell (or was pushed) is described as a "white, boxy station wagon, similar to the Toyota Scion." Since the van did not stop, and no report was called in, Lt. Kevin Rooney of the SDPD Homicide Units says this case is suspicious and could be a homicide.

Torres worked as a gas-station clerk in National City and had three small children. An autopsy by the medical examiner determined that Torres had died from multiple blunt-force injuries. The manner of death (suicide, accident, or homicide) is unknown, according to Rooney. SDPD are looking for other witnesses, who can contact the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS.


1542 Oleander Avenue, Chula Vista

January 12, 7:20 a.m.

A male occupant of the home reported that he had gone downstairs and found blood on the door to his adult sister's room. He was worried his sister was hurt. The responding officer, Oliver Demery, forced entry into the room and found the body of Diane Carpenter (DOB 10-08-1952). They noticed a trail of blood drops leading away from the house. The victim's son, Kaijamar "Kai" Dion Carpenter, called San Diego Police and asked to be picked up in the area of 51st Street and El Cajon Boulevard. Diane Carpenter was the assistant principal of EastLake High School.

Kaijamar was booked for his mother's murder; however, he is described by his father, David Carpenter, as diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. "My son is sick," he says. He claims Diane Carpenter had tried and failed to find a residential treatment center where her son could receive long-term care.

At the May 9 preliminary hearing in Chula Vista Superior Court, Kaijamar said in a videotaped interview: "I wanted to kill her. I wasn't paying attention, I was just stabbing her." Chula Vista Police Detective John Pene conducted this taped interview and testified at the hearing that he felt Kaijamar "was trying to throw me off track with my questioning. I think he may have some issues, but he knows what's going on."

Judge Esteban Hernandez ruled that there was sufficient evidence for a trial. Kaijamar's public defender, Kate Coyne, says she filed paperwork to have her client declared insane and incompetent to face trial. A status conference and possible setting of a trial date will be heard in court August 30, 2007.


3600 36th Street,

Cherokee Point

January 14, 6:49 p.m.

Officers found a male lying on the sidewalk, suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced dead at 7:10 p.m. A few minutes before the shooting, the victim had been in a fight with four Hispanic males. The four males fled northbound on 36th Street, leaving the victim lying on the sidewalk. Then, another Hispanic male drove up in a pickup truck and parked near the victim. He got out of the truck, walked up to the victim, and fired a gun.

SDPD Homicide identified the 25-year-old victim as Rudy Valdez. A few minutes before the shooting, Valdez was involved in a fight. The shooting has been determined to be gang-related. Lieutenant Jeff Sferra describes the gunman as Hispanic, in his late 20s, bald, with a thin build, wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. His truck is described as a dark-blue Toyota Tundra, with big rims and wheels, raised frame, and a Chargers lightning bolt in the rear window.


300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

January 19, 12:06 a.m.

Carlsbad Police Department received a 911 call about a fight in progress. Dispatchers were told that there was possibly a gun involved. Upon arrival, officers found the victim on the ground with apparent gunshot wounds. Paramedics responded and the victim was pronounced deceased on scene. Officers were directed to an individual across the complex -- David Jonathan Sumner, 21 -- who, according to an eyewitness, might have been involved. When they attempted to contact Sumner, he fled on foot. Officers pursued and located him on the roof of a building in the 300 block of Carlsbad Village Drive. Officers recovered a gun nearby, which turned out to be the suspect weapon in the crime. It appears there were no ties between the victim and suspect prior to the crime. Sumner appears to have initiated the confrontation, which led to a physical fight.

Sumner was arraigned on May 29, 2007, for the shooting death of James Jay Wendal, 44, an Oceanside resident. James Cowan, Wendal's friend, stated the fight broke out because the two men bumped shoulders and then made "sarcastic" and "rude" remarks to one another. Sumner is being held on $2 million bail and is ordered to stand trial.


7800 Shorewood Drive, Skyline

January 27, 5:25 p.m.

On a Friday evening, officers responded to a report of a body lying inside a parked car. They found a deceased male in the trunk of a station wagon. Based on the condition of the body, the death was deemed suspicious, and Homicide detectives were called on the scene.

SDPD Homicide says the victim has not been identified and the case is still under investigation.


9700 Winter Gardens Boulevard, Lakeside

February 1, 4:00 p.m.

Sheriff's Department received a 911 report of an armed suspicious person. The first deputy arrived on the scene at 4:03 p.m., entered the condominium, and found an injured male lying on the floor. At 4:16 p.m., paramedics pronounced the victim dead. Neighbors reported hearing two shots.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as James Marcel Magot, 64, a Pacific Beach resident who ran a real estate business along with his wife. Magot was a Vietnam veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, and an elder for his La Jolla church. Michael Ray Jennison, who lived in the condo, was a suspect in this homicide. Jennison, 36, was arrested on February 3, in Phoenix, Arizona. Police say he was driving alone and had three guns and $50,000 cash in his car. Sheriff's investigators report that Jennison's condominium was in probate, and Magot was shot after coming by with an offer to sell the property.


4100 38th Street, San Diego

February 17, 6:40 p.m.

Police were dispatched to a report of a stabbing at an apartment complex. They found a 75-year-old retired woman, Mercedez Ramirez, suffering from numerous stab wounds inside the apartment. Paramedics transported the woman to a trauma center, but she died at 7:17 p.m. Inside another apartment, her daughter, Tomasa Ramirez, 36, was arrested for the murder and taken into custody without incident.

Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick Mazzarella said Tomasa allegedly got up from a card game she was playing with her mother, went to the kitchen, grabbed a steak knife, and began to stab her mother. When the mother tried to run, the defendant stabbed her repeatedly in the back. Mazzarella said the defendant immediately called police and told them what she had done, then proceeded to wash off the murder weapon. Criminal proceedings were suspended on June 5, when Judge Peter Deddeh ordered a mental-competency exam for Tomasa Ramirez. The competency hearing was set for July 23, 2007.


Cottonwood Road and South Vista, San Ysidro

February 17, 10:24 p.m.

SDPD officers were dispatched to a report of an injured person calling for help. They found a 25-year-old male, covered in blood, in the street near the Beyer Boulevard Trolley Station. Paramedics attempted to save the male, but he died at the scene at 10:24 p.m. The preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim was assaulted on the platform of the trolley station. The victim staggered down a path that leads to Cottonwood Road, where he collapsed in the street. SDPD says the male has not been identified and the case is still under investigation.


2100 Parktree Lane, Escondido

February 18, 8:35 a.m.

Escondido Police Communications received a telephone call from an unknown source reporting "two people dead and one person injured." Officers arrived at approximately 8:40 a.m. A male subject, who had been shot in the facial area with what is believed to be a small-caliber handgun, exited the house at approximately 8:46 a.m. He was immediately taken to an area trauma center. His wounds were not life-threatening. At approximately 11:45 a.m., the suspect, later identified as Octavian Crishan, 68 years old, of Las Vegas, Nevada, exited the garage of the residence and was uncooperative with police units. Nonlethal beanbag rounds were deployed; the suspect was taken into custody without further incident. While checking the residence for additional suspects or victims, the body of a deceased male, who appeared to be in his late 60s, was located. He had also been shot.

Escondido Police identified the murder victim as Herman Wiesemeyer, 67, a long-time friend of Crishan's. The man with the facial injury is Matthew Vivian. According to Deputy Public Defender Barbara McDonald, Crishan is claiming that he was abused by both parties and acted in self-defense. Crishan's defense will be based on his allegations that Wiesemeyer and Vivian tried to coerce him into creating a will or living trust naming them as benefactors and that Vivian threatened to inject him with potassium chloride and poison if Crishan did not comply.

Detective Miguel Ramirez testified to the court that Wiesemeyer looked after the suspect and had helped him move out of an assisted-living facility in Las Vegas.

According to the Musicians Union of Las Vegas, Crishan, a violinist, was a long-time member. His high-profile gigs on the Las Vegas Strip included performing as the concertmaster at the Aladdin Casino. They said he attracted the attention of Sammy Davis Jr., who hired Crishan as a concertmaster for some of his shows.

In a June 19, 2007, hearing, a Superior Court judge ruled that a trial would go forth. The date is set for October 16, 2007.



300 Hollister Street, Palm City

February 26, 7:30 a.m.

Two employees of a private business stopped their truck on the east side of Hollister Street. When they were ready to leave, they noticed what appeared to be a body in the Otay River. Closer inspection by officers called to the scene revealed that the body had been dismembered. Allen Burton Hawes's torso was found in the Otay River. Hawes was 57.

On February 27, a tow truck driver found a human head in a plastic bag alongside southbound I-5, near 28th Street. A short while later, Caltrans workers found a human hand along southbound 163, at the exit for southbound I-5.

Gerald Michael Nash, an adult bookstore worker, was arrested for the crime. He told police officers: "This all seems like a dream to me. Like I'm not even here."

On April 9, 2007, two severed legs were found in Harbison Canyon. Searching Nash's house, police found more than 30 driver's licenses, credit cards, and birth certificates. San Diego Police say he may have been involved in identity theft, and they are investigating.


4900 Wheelhouse Drive, Ocean Crest

March 3, 2:48 p.m.

Police were called after several people detected an odor coming from a parked Lincoln Navigator. They checked the vehicle and found the body of a deceased person in the back seat. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the truck was first noticed on March 6. On March 10, a citizen called police to have the vehicle marked with a 72-hour-violation notice. The vehicle has a Baja license plate.

Police say the body has not been identified and the case is still under investigation.


500 North Highway 101, Solana Beach

March 16, 11:46 a.m.

Manville Frangos, an off-duty senior volunteer from the Sheriff's Encinitas Station, was driving behind a red Toyota 4Runner. Just north of Solana Vista Drive, he saw the 4Runner hit 40-year-old Jeannie Franklin, who was riding her bicycle in the bike lane. Frangos followed the vehicle and wrote down the license plate number before returning to the scene, where a sheriff's deputy and an emergency-room doctor had arrived.

Franklin was pronounced dead at 11:52 a.m. She and her husband Simon Franklin had spent part of the morning at a Cardiff market. When they left, he took the bus back to their Solana Beach home, while she, an avid biking enthusiast, rode along scenic North Highway 101. She died of head injuries and a severed spinal cord.

A broadcast for the suspect vehicle went out on the air. Local agencies began looking for the vehicle and its owner, 41-year-old Brian Stephen Carnes. Escondido Police Officer Martin spotted the vehicle in a driveway on Rock Springs Road in Escondido and detained Carnes as he got out of the freshly washed 4Runner.

Carnes was arrested. He had a 1998 DUI conviction. He was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on charges of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run, and driving under the influence. Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly said that the charge of murder was later filed because of "his prior DUI conviction and the results of an investigation." Carnes's blood alcohol level was .26.


800 Agate Street, Pacific Beach

March 17, 6:15 p.m.

Police were dispatched to a report of a vehicle-pedestrian collision. They arrived to find a male down in the street. In the meantime, a second male had called police from two blocks away to report he had just hit someone with his vehicle. The injured male was transported to a trauma center, where he died at 6:45 p.m. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the motorist and his girlfriend were driving slowly on Agate Street, looking for an apartment to rent, when they noticed several males walking toward them in the street. The males started yelling at the motorist, and one of them kicked the driver's door. The driver accelerated to get away from his attackers but in doing so hit a third male who was standing in front of the vehicle. After running over the individual, the motorist stopped. The injured male's companion started to chase him, so the motorist left the area and called 911.

San Diego Police identified the victim as Timothy Easton, 22, of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Candles were placed on the spot where Easton was run over, and tributes to Easton were posted on his MySpace page. The driver was not charged with a crime, which was deemed self-defense.


4090 El Cajon Boulevard, Kensington

March 20, 2:28 a.m.

San Diego Police responded to a report of a shooting at Donuts Plus. They arrived to find an injured male in the rear of the business. The victim was transported to a trauma center, where he died at 3:24 a.m. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim, 38, and a male friend were eating at a taco shop next to the donut shop when the victim became involved in a conversation with another male. The conversation turned antagonistic before the male suspect left the taco shop. Approximately ten minutes later, as the victim and his friend were leaving, the suspect and his companion returned. The shooter confronted the victim outside the donut shop, exchanged words with him, and shot him. The victim fled into the donut shop, and the suspect fired through the plate-glass window.

Police identified the victim as Damon Green. They said no arrests have been made, and the case is still actively being investigated. Crime Stoppers offers a $1000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Call 888-580-TIPS.


1330 North Magnolia Avenue, unincorporated El Cajon

March 20, 11:59 a.m.

Sheriff's Department received a call to assist the El Cajon Fire Department at the Magnolia Auto Repair. Deputies and fire personnel were directed to a locked mini-van. There was someone in the van who appeared to be unconscious and could not be aroused. Once the vehicle was forced open, the body of an adult male was discovered. Also apparent was the fact that there had been a fire inside the vehicle. It was at that point that arson investigators were called to the scene. Arson investigators' initial determination suggested that the incident appeared to be of a suspicious nature. Investigators from the Sheriff's Homicide Detail were notified and responded. Sheriff's Homicide Department says the case is still under investigation.


1141 E. Washington Avenue, Escondido

March 22, 9:48 p.m.

Police received a telephone call reporting a possible "stabbing victim" in front of a liquor store. They arrived on scene at approximately 9:49 p.m. and discovered the victim collapsed on the sidewalk. The victim had indeed been stabbed and was unresponsive. The victim's cousin, a witness to the stabbing, told police that two unknown Hispanic males had approached them after they'd made a purchase and exited the liquor store. One of the suspects exchanged words with the victim, pulled a knife from his rear pocket, and stabbed the victim; both suspects then fled westbound on Washington Avenue. The witness described the suspects as Hispanic males, 16-19 years old, wearing dark clothing.

The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he later expired from his wounds. Escondido Police identified him as 26-year-old Carlos Rios, of Escondido.

Police also identified one of the suspects as 25-year-old Charles Lara Rodriguez, responsible for the murder of Rios. Rodriguez is believed to be in the Escondido area and should be considered armed and dangerous. Rodriguez is approximately 5´ 9´´ tall, 150 lbs., with short black hair and brown eyes. Crime Stoppers offers a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Rodriguez.


300 Millar Avenue, El Cajon

April 3, 1:03 a.m.

Police responded to a call from a father that his infant was not breathing right. Officers administered CPR until medics arrived and transported the 3 1/2-month-old infant to Grossmont Hospital, then later to Children's Hospital. The infant was in critical condition. Tests at the hospital showed that the infant was the victim of abuse, and doctors determined that the infant's father, Brandon Joseph Robert Martin, 18, caused the injuries. Martin, who worked as an electrician, was taken into custody. On April 6, doctors determined the victim had no brain activity. The decision was made to remove the baby from life support. The child was pronounced dead at 2:45 p.m.

Martin has been charged with Penal Code 273ab, "Abuse of a Child Causing Death," according to Lt. Tim Henton of the El Cajon Police. If convicted, he could get 25 years to life.


6700 Bamburgh Drive, Clairemont Mesa East

April 4, 8:23 a.m.

Police responded to a report of an abandoned car. Neighbors had first noticed the car on the evening of March 23 but did not contact police until a foul odor began to emanate from the vehicle. Officers forced open one of the doors, removed a portion of the rear seat, and were able to see the body of a male inside the trunk. Based on the condition of the body, the death was deemed suspicious. The car, a Gold Chrysler Concord, had been reported stolen in Chula Vista on March 24.

San Diego Homicide detectives identified Ivan Lorenzo, 28, through a fingerprint check. Lorenzo lived in Tijuana but was a U.S. citizen. Police say the case is still being investigated.


200 Harbor Drive, Marina

April 8, 6:15 a.m.

A citizen noticed a male down outside a business near the San Diego Convention Center. Police arrived to find the victim unresponsive. He had been beaten to death with a blunt object, said Lt. Kevin Rooney. Claude Dean, 63, was stopped by an officer at First and Harbor, according to Rooney, and arrested and charged with the homicide. An investigation revealed that the suspect and victim had been involved in an argument over a jacket, and the suspect beat the victim while taking the clothing back from him. Both victim and suspect are homeless. The District Attorney's office says a trial date, if any, has not been set.


300 Woodman Street, Skyline

April 24, 1:00 p.m.

The resident of the apartment unit, a 70-year-old male, had been at a local hospital for a week. He called two relatives and asked them to visit his home to check on it and to pick up some personal items. The relatives went to the home, where they found the front door open. They entered. The living room had been ransacked. While checking the rest of the home, they discovered two males in separate rooms who both appeared to be deceased, with trauma to their bodies.

San Diego Police identified the victims as 50-year-old Daniel Lee Collins and 51-year-old Rock Walker. The resident did not know them. Police say it is unknown what their occupation was and the case is still being investigated.


100 Ventura Place, Mission Beach

April 29, 6:52 p.m.

Police arrived to find an unconscious male victim suffering from an apparent stab wound. Lifeguards and paramedics attempted to save the victim's life, but he died at a trauma center at 7:26 p.m. Witnesses said the victim and an unknown suspect were in an argument that escalated to a physical encounter before the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim. After the stabbing, the suspect walked his bicycle to the parking lot on the south side of Ventura Place, placed the bicycle in the bed of a pickup truck, and drove away.

Police say they have yet to identify the victim or suspect and the case is still being investigated.


1700 East Mission Bay Drive, Mission Bay

10:20 a.m., July 25

SDPD Officer Travis Hamby and members of the Air Support Unit helicopter "ABLE" responded to a report of a sexual assault near the Hilton Mission Bay Hotel. Jill Vizcaino of San Carlos reported to police that she was walking in the area with her son and a female friend. A black male with dreadlocks, who appeared to be a transient, walked toward them, "eating a piece of chicken," she said. The man passed them, wished them a "good morning," and then, abruptly, grabbed the female friend between the legs.

According to Lt. Manny Guaderrama, a similar sex crime occurred the prior week along Clairemont Drive, by a suspect with a matching description.

Officers on board ABLE observed a male matching that description near the waterway of Tecolote Creek. Officer Hamby parked his vehicle in the lot at 1500 Mission Bay Drive and approached the suspect, later identified as Dominic Long, 32.

Long "appeared to be holding a shiny, sharp object clenched in one of his hands," according to Homicide Unit Captain Mary Cornicelli. Long motioned Hamby toward him, and Hamby ordered, "Turn away and get on the ground." Long refused to comply and started to walk toward Hamby, the sharp object still in hand.

Hamby, who has been on the force for 21 months, contends he believed he was going to be stabbed. He fired his service weapon, shooting Long.

Long turned away, started to walk, and then collapsed on the concrete.

Other officers arrived and found a chrome pocketknife in Long's hand. They placed him in handcuffs and attempted first aid. Paramedics pronounced Long dead at the scene.

Hamby has been placed on administrative duty while the case is being investigated.

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