2 men ordered to stand trial in deadly pot shop robbery - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

2 men ordered to stand trial in deadly pot shop robbery

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two alleged gang members accused in the armed holdup of a North Park marijuana dispensary in which an alleged accomplice was shot and killed by a security guard must stand trial on murder, attempted murder and robbery charges, a judge ruled Thursday.

Kurese Bell, 18, was charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery in the holdup and fatal shooting that occurred about 12:30 p.m. April 25, 2014, in the 3800 block of Ray Street.

Atiim Smith -- the alleged getaway driver -- was charged with attempted murder and felony robbery. The 22-year-old's fingerprints were found in a car impounded by police after the robbery, a latent print examiner testified during a two-day preliminary hearing.

Another person, 21-year-old Jonathan Vincent Collins, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a robbery charge with a gang allegation.

He was expected to be sentenced to 12 years in prison at a hearing April 2.

Bell -- who was 17 at the time -- was also charged in the robbery of a smoke shop on El Cajon Boulevard four days before the dispensary robbery.

He was arrested in May at a Los Angeles-area motel and charged as an adult.

Detective Jana Beard testified Wednesday that security guard Henry Smith told her he shot the alleged robber in the dispensary holdup, identified as 18-year-old Marlon Thomas, after Thomas and another robber threatened to kill him and the store owner.

"He (the guard) thought he was going to die," Beard testified. "He was scared ... petrified."

The security guard was shot in his pelvis and survived.

Following the preliminary hearing, Judge Jay Bloom found that enough evidence was presented for Bell and Smith to stand trial. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Feb. 11.

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