Trial ordered for parolee in murder of City Heights woman - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trial ordered for parolee in murder of City Heights woman

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A parolee accused of fatally stabbing a prostitute in her City Heights apartment and dumping her body in a water-filled bathtub before trying to clean the bloody crime scene was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a murder charge.

Frank Dwayne Shaw, 36, is accused in the death last August of 48-year-old Maureen Skeffington, a known escort and prostitute who lived alone and worked under the name "Tabby."

Shaw -- who has previous convictions stemming from a series of 1997 armed robberies -- faces 82 years to life in prison if convicted, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson.

San Diego police Detective Michelle Velovich testified during a two-day preliminary hearing that she and other officers went to the victim's apartment at 3853 Cherokee Ave. last Aug. 28 after neighbors said they hadn't seen her in a couple days.

The detective said that based on the evidence in the apartment, police think Skeffington was killed on her bed and placed in the bathtub.

The victim was stabbed five times -- including twice in the neck -- and had a broken nose and two black eyes, Velovich testified.

Bloody sheets, a woman's shirt and bra were found in a trash container outside, the detective said.

Shaw's DNA was found on the bed, on a kitchen cabinet and on a bathtub handle, Erickson said.

According to court testimony, Shaw and Skeffington were in communication by phone the night of Aug. 26, when Shaw -- who had met the victim at a youth football game -- wanted to pay for sex with her.

Shaw proposed paying for a sex act with drugs, but Skeffington insisted that he pay cash, police said.

After the murder, the defendant took the victim's cell phone and dumped it. The phone was recovered and turned over to police.

Shaw denied having sex with Skeffington the night of Aug. 26 and couldn't explain how his DNA was found in her apartment, Velovich testified.

Defense attorney Kara Oien said Shaw was in the area sometime after 10 p.m. but took off when Skeffington didn't show up.

Oien said Shaw had cash to pay for sex with Skeffington but didn't want to use it.

If the victim would have refused drugs as payment for sex, Shaw would have left, his attorney argued.

After a "hit" in a DNA database for criminal offenders, Shaw was arrested at his home in Southcrest on Dec. 20.

Judge Charles Rogers ruled that enough evidence was presented during the preliminary hearing for Shaw to stand trial. A Superior Court arraignment was scheduled for May 1.

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