Preliminary hearing for rock-bashing murder case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Preliminary hearing for rock-bashing murder case

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of bludgeoning a transient with a rock in a Hillcrest canyon, resulting in the victim's death two weeks later, is scheduled to appear at the downtown courthouse Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

Joshua James Larson, 37, of North Park is charged with murder in the death of 31-year-old Jason Huggins.

Early on the evening of June 22, Huggins walked out of a gorge off the 1300 block of Washington Street and flagged down a passing motorist, according to San Diego police. He was only able to tell the driver he had been beaten on the head with a rock.

Medics took the victim to a trauma center, where his condition deteriorated.

Two days later, detectives arrested Larson as he drove away from a Hillcrest home. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder. The victim died July 6 and Larson was charged with murder.

Larson also faces an assault charge in connection with a non-fatal beating that occurred at the same time as the attack on Huggins. That victim, a homeless man whose name has not been released, was treated and released at a hospital, said San Diego police homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney.

Rooney declined to disclose a suspected motive for the assaults, though he said the three men knew each other.

Two years ago, Huggins testified against Larson in a criminal case charging the latter with drug possession and grand theft, according to News 8.

Larson faces 33 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges stemming from the two alleged assaults.

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

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