CHULA VISTA (CNS) - Murder and other charges were filed Wednesday against a man accused in an attempted "smash and grab" burglary at a Chula Vista Apple store, in which one of his two alleged accomplices was killed in a shootout with a security guard.
Johnny Chenda, 25, faces more than 35 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Carlos Varela.
At a hearing Wednesday, South Bay Judge Kathleen Lewis doubled Chenda's bail from $500,000 to $1 million.
In addition to murder, Chenda is charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a burglary and robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, attempted robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, along with gun and gang allegations.
Alex Somphonh Choulamontry, a 23-year-old parolee and documented gang member, was shot in the head by a security guard as he, Chenda and 21-year-old Melissa Ortiz allegedly tried to flee the store at the Otay Ranch Town Center about 6:40 a.m. Monday, according to Chula Vista police.
No charges have been filed against Ortiz, according to Varela.
Jose Jimenez, a retired deputy sheriff who works for a security firm based in Los Angeles County, interrupted the burglars and exchanged gunfire with Choulamontry and Chenda, according to police Capt. Gary Ficacci.
Choulamontry died at the scene, but Chenda and Ortiz allegedly ran from the getaway car after it crashed into a light pole. They were arrested on the patio of a nearby home.
Police said at least one of the suspects pulled a gun on Jimenez shortly after smashing a store window and entering the business.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24.
A small brush fire erupted alongside state Route 94 in Golden Hill Monday, burning brush near a church and preschool but causing no reported structural damage or injuries before crews got it under control.
Santa Ana winds will blow through much of San Diego County Monday and combine with record-high temperatures and extremely dry air to create dangerous fire conditions, forecasters said.
State Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani met with members of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians on Monday.
A two-year contract ratified by members of San Diego's police union would move officers' pay to above-average levels statewide in all classifications, city leaders announced Monday.
Authorities are working Monday to identify the human remains recovered where a plane crash sparked a fire over the weekend in Lakeside, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.
One in six women in San Diego County will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime and while more women and men are living longer after a breast cancer diagnosis, there is still no cure. You can participate in the fight against the disease November 5 during the 21st annual Race for the Cure.
Authorities Monday released the name of a man who was fatally shot by police last month when he faced off against them at a North County strip mall while armed with a knife and a pellet gun.
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North County foodies: get ready to feast. The fourth annual North Eats Festival is returning to Encinitas this Sunday.
Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air is once again a proud sponsor the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure which will take place in Balboa Park on Sunday, November 5, 2017. And once again, 'Find A Cure Fridays' are a part of Anderson’s fundraising effort.