Gang member on trial for violent crime spree - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gang member on trial for violent crime spree

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Opening statements have wrapped up for the day in the trial of a gang member accused of nearly beating a college student to death.

Terrence Lavar Jarvis, 28, is charged with attempted murder and other counts stemming from the Dec. 28, 2011, attack on Grant Richman.

Co-defendant David Daniel White pleaded guilty last year to premeditated attempted murder and was sentenced to 22 years and eight months to life in prison.

On Thursday, Jarvis -- also known as "Baby X" -- sat in court while the state made explosive opening arguments.

Deputy District Attorney Lawson alleged that Jarvis and White began their crime spree at 1 p.m. on Dec. 27. 2011, when they went with two other men to the Emerald Hills home of fellow gang member Kevin Foster to give him a "disciplinary beating" for refusing to take a gang order.

The prosecutor showed the jury a surveillance video of five men fighting in the street outside of the home of Foster's grandmother and alleged that one of the men was Jarvis, one was White and another was Foster.

"Foster had a beating coming and he knew it," Lawson said.

But defense attorney Tom Palmer said that Jarvis and Foster had been friends since they were 8 years old and that there was "no beef between them."

Lawson alleged that at 11:37 p.m., Jarvis and White robbed Rebecca Smedley at gunpoint outside her apartment in Mountain View. About an hour later, at 12:33 a.m. on Dec. 28., Jarvis and White attempted to rob Alayna Harris while she took the trash out at Woodstock Pizza in Rolando.

Richman, then 18, was attacked about 12:30 a.m., shortly after arriving in the College area of San Diego to spend the night at a friend's home. Doctors initially thought Richman, who is from Northridge in Los Angeles, wouldn't survive.

"Despite the defendant's repeated attempt to kill Grant Richman and leaving his skull mangled, Richman is a miracle," Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lawson said.

Disturbing images of Richman, a UC Berkeley student, were shown to a jury of eight men and seven women, including alternates.

The prosecutor played a 911 tape of a neighbor who found Richman at 12:53 a.m. On the tape, the neighbor can be heard trying to talk to Richman and asking him who had done this to him.

Another voice could be heard moaning in the background, allegedly that of Richman.

Jarvis has pleaded not guilty.

The beating left Richman in a coma as he underwent surgeries to remove parts of his skull for swelling on his brain. Jarvis is also accused of using Richman's credit cards after the attack.

DNA evidence was collected from the scene connecting Jarvis to the crime. Lawson also says he was part of a string of violent robberies and assaults, including a violent attack at a medical marijuana dispensary on El Cajon Boulevard.

Jarvis is a member of the Emerald Hills gang, which is part of the infamous Bloods, according to the state's attorney. They also presented a .45 caliber gun as evidence with his DNA on it from a different crime.

Richman and his girlfriend are expected to testify at some point.

Opening arguments will resume Monday morning at 9 a.m.

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