Prelim. for teens accused in Craigslist murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Prelim. for teens accused in Craigslist murder

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A preliminary hearing began Tuesday for three teenage gang members accused of killing a college student after luring him to a late-night robbery in Paradise Hills by posting a $600 computer for sale on Craigslist.

Rashon Abernathy and Shaquille Jordan, both 17, and Seandell Jones, 18, are charged in adult court with murder and other counts in the May 11 shooting death of 18-year-old Garrett Berki, a 2010 graduate of La Jolla High School.

The victim lived with his mother in Mission Beach and attended Mesa College.

The defendants face 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

At the defendants' arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha told a judge that Berki and his girlfriend went to Paradise Hills to buy the computer, and when the victim pulled out his money, one of the defendants pulled out a handgun and robbed the victims of the cash and their cell phones.

The prosecutor said Berki and his girlfriend saw the defendants get into a car driven by Jones and followed the suspect vehicle onto the freeway and back onto surface streets.

When Berki tried to box in the suspect vehicle in a cul-de-sac, Abernathy -- seated behind the driver -- fired one shot through the windshield striking the victim in the chest, Trocha alleged.

Berki died at a hospital.

Trocha said the defendants fled and crashed their car near the crime scene and were captured in the backyards of homes in the area.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, a judge will decide if enough evidence was presented for Abernathy, Jordan and Jones to stand trial.

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