VISTA (CNS) - A witness testified Tuesday that he saw three people in hooded sweatshirts running away after hearing gunshots outside his window near Libby Lake Park in Oceanside, where two teenagers were murdered last spring.
Brian Perkins took the stand as a preliminary hearing for AL'C Bejaran, Justin Gibson, Kenneth Hamilton and Tyrone Blackmon got under way at the Vista Courthouse.
The defendants, all gang members, are charged in the May 3 shooting deaths of 14-year-old Sandra Salgado and 16-year-old Fernando Solano, who were dating, according to relatives.
Bejaran and Gibson, both 19, and Hamilton, 34, are charged with two counts of murder. Blackmon, 29, is charged with being an accessory to the crime.
Perkins, who lived in an apartment complex next to the park, testified that he was watching a television newcast just after 10 p.m. when he heard gunfire. He said he went out to his porch and saw three people running down a hill, which was located on the other side of a lake.
The witness said the trio ran around the southern edge of the lake, and he lost sight of two of them. Seconds later, one of the three ran by the front of Perkins' apartment as he went out to walk his dog, he testified.
Perkins said he couldn't identify any of the people he saw running from the crime scene.
Oceanside police Officer Anis Trabelsi said he smelled gunpowder when he responded to a "shots fired" call the night of the killings. He said he found the victims' bodies after walking halfway up the hill on the eastern side of the lake.
Trabelsi said Solano was sitting in a chair and Salgado was lying next to him, face-down in the dirt.
The officer said he asked his partner to check for a pulse, and his partner responded "I think they're both deceased," Trabelsi testified.
Trabelsi said he and other officers searched a nearby elementary school, but found no suspects.
Investigators have not established a motive for the killings. The slain teens, both of whom lived in Oceanside, had no known gang ties, said Oceanside police Lt. Leonard Mata.
Bejaran faces 101 years to life in prison if convicted. He was in custody at Donovan State Prison when he was charged with the murders.
Gibson and Hamilton face 51 years to life in prison if convicted.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, which is expected to last three to four days, Judge Harry Elias will determine if enough evidence was presented for the defendants to stand trial.
A local war hero is about to be laid to rest. Retired Navy Captain James "Duffy" Hutton spent years of his service as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before he settled down here in San Diego.
Sunday marked day two of the government shutdown - and with the work week beginning Monday - thousands of employees may not go back to work.
Temperatures are expected to rise slightly on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, but will remain cooler than normal.
A motorcyclist was suspected of drunken driving after causing a late-night car crash in Pacific Beach, police said Sunday, and hours later, a second crash occurred in the intersection while police were still investigating.
The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 last week to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.
John Coleman, a long-serving San Diego weatherman and founder of The Weather Channel, has died at the age of 83.
Several dogs were taken into the custody of San Diego County and put down, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.