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.
As the school year winds down, a lot of students are getting ready to do some traveling with their families. The Nurse Practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic have a few reminders if you are planning on traveling abroad.
An expedition led in part by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego located a missing World War II bomber off the coast of Papua New Guinea and surveyed another at the bottom of a harbor, it was announced Friday.
It was like a scene right out of John Wayne movie Tuesday in East County.
A bull made a break in the not-so-wide open spaces of San Diego Country Estates.
News 8's Dominic Garcia reports on the bolting bovine and its capture.
Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. But what if that humble home costs over $10 million? News 8's Steve Price takes a look inside a newly built condo in La Jolla that is breaking some San Diego Real Estate records.
Just about everybody on this planet accepts their lot in life, but deep down dreams of becoming a rock star.
Plenty of winter rain means plenty of flowers, trees and grasses this spring.
But it also means, plenty of foxtails.
They are a prickly little plant that blooms every spring and can cause plenty of problems for canine companions.
News 8's Shawn Styles explains how to "out fox" the foxtails.
San Diego County emergency and fire officials are urging residents to protect homes against devastating wildfires as fire season kicks into full gear.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) has voted to lay off its enforcement officers that patrol local train and bus stations.
Two Oceanside-based California Highway Patrol officers received the state's highest award of merit Tuesday in recognition of their actions in preventing a suicidal woman from jumping off a North County freeway bridge.