Not guilty plea in fatal sledgehammer attack - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Not guilty plea in fatal sledgehammer attack

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A transient accused of fatally beating a man with a sledgehammer as the two argued along a Midway District street pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.

Greg Repp Jennings, 50, was ordered held on $2 million bail.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly said Jennings and the 37-year- old victim were arguing in the 3800 block of Midway Drive about 6:20 p.m. Monday when Jennings allegedly pulled out a 64-ounce sledgehammer and hit the victim in the face.

The victim fell into the street and the defendant got on top of him and struck him several more times with the sledgehammer, killing him, the prosecutor alleged.

While they were en route, police received 911 calls describing a fight in which a man wearing a Santa Claus hat was hitting another man in the head with a hammer. It was later determined that Jennings wasn't wearing a Santa hat but had his hair dyed and shaped into a cone, police said.

Police said Jennings was still at the scene when officers arrived and he was arrested after a brief struggle.

Reilly did not identify the victim -- who was from San Diego -- as his next of kin have not yet been notified.

The prosecutor said the defendant had several "strike" convictions and faces 81 years to life in prison if convicted.

A status conference was set for Feb. 8 and a preliminary hearing for Feb. 22.

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