An unemployed Grantville man pleaded not guilty today to murder and assault charges in the death of his 2-year-old son.
Bennie Harris Jr., 28, who has a 2006 robbery conviction on his record, faces 55 years to life in state prison if convicted, Deputy District Attorney Harrison Kennedy said outside court.
"It's hard to deal with," the prosecutor said, referring to the death of a child.
He declined to comment on the case further because it wasn't discussed in open court.
Judge David Szumowski ordered Harris held on $1 million bail and scheduled a status conference for March 5.
The defendant was arrested Tuesday at an El Cajon residence that police said might belong to a relative.
About 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, Harris made an emergency call from his home in the 10200 block of San Diego Mission Road to report that his son, Bennie Harris III, was unconscious and had stopped breathing.
The boy was pronounced dead the next afternoon at Rady Children's Hospital. An autopsy determined that the toddler had succumbed to blunt-force head trauma.
Harris and his son lived in the residence near Qualcomm Stadium with the boy's mother, but the father was the only person with the child when he suffered the fatal injuries, according to San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.
A crash on an Oceanside freeway Saturday morning left two cars on their roofs and sent one person to a hospital, a fire official
Cooler weekend for the County due to a low pressure trough moving through the Great Basin. Weak and shallow marine layer may still be slow to clear.
A stretch of road in National City was shut down briefly after a large crowd took to the streets to celebrate the Mexico national soccer team's 2-1 victory over South Korea today in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The San Diego Humane Society today urged residents to volunteer their homes as foster spaces for the influx of animals typically lost after Fourth of July.
A man was critically injured Friday night when he chased a ball into the street and was hit by a car.
Clayton Richard pitched three-hit ball over six innings for his fourth consecutive win and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Friday night.
A powerful show of support for migrants being held in detention facilities has hundreds of interfaith leaders gathered Friday night for a vigil and demonstration at the border.