Court culls mountains, burn areas from jury pool in Old Fire case

SAN BERNARDINO – A Superior Court judge has ruled that residents from the local mountains and northern portions of San Bernardino and Highland will not be among potential jurors in the upcoming trial for suspected Old Fire arsonist Rickie Lee Fowler.

In discussions Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court over a defense motion to exclude jurors from those areas, Judge Michael A. Smith acknowledged that residents in those areas may be “particularly more sensitive” to fire issues.

Lawyers grappled with the idea during court appearance for Fowler where discussions occurred about how best to exclude residents from the pool of potential jurors who may been evacuated, impacted or even lost a home during the devastating wildfire.
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Mental competency trial starts for defendant in slayings of High Desert couple

VICTORVILLE – A jury will begin hearing evidence Wednesday in the mental competency trial for a West Covina man accused of the execution-style killings of a young man and woman in 2008 at an abandoned military bunker near Helendale.

Lawyers in the trial for Collin McGlaughlin spent Monday arguing pretrial motions, deciding whether some evidence could be used at trial and selecting a jury. Opening statements are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. followed by testimony Wednesday in Victorville Superior Court.

The issue before jurors is whether McGlaughlin has the necessary mental competency to go to trial again later where he will face murder charges – and the possible death penalty – in the shooting deaths of Christopher Cody Thompson, 18, of Apple Valley and his 16-year-old girlfriend, Bodhisattva “Bodhi” Sherzer-Potter of Helendale.
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Trio face capital charges in RC man’s death

SAN BERNARDINO – Two of the three people accused of killing a mentally challenged Rancho Cucamonga man in July will need new attorneys because they could face the possible death penalty or life in state prison.

The trio – Antonio Marquis Eubanks, his half-brother John Fitzgerald Dozier and Crystal Ann Carmelo, Dozier’s wife – appeared before Judge Kenneth Barr Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court where the new lawyers were discussed.

Prosecutors allege the three defendants killed Matthew Thomas Cook, 29, in July at a San Bernardino apartment building for financial gain. Cook was beaten to death and left in a trash can, say San Bernardino police.
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Man suspected in Beaumont child’s death appeals federal conviction

By Stacia Glenn on November 18, 2008 2:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(AP) — A man who was convicted of murdering four people and sentenced to death for one of the murders has filed a notice of appeal in federal court.

Joseph Edward Duncan III was given three death sentences and three life imprisonment sentences in federal court earlier this year for the 205 kidnapping, sexual abuse and torture of 9-year-old Dylan Groene and 8-year-old Shasta Groene, and for Dylan’s murder.

He was also given three life imprisonment sentences in state court for the murder of their older brother, Slade Groene, their mother, Brenda Groene, and her fiance, Mark McKenzie.
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Update: Hearing postponed for man to back out of plea bargain in three deaths

A hearing for a man who avoided the death penalty with a plea bargain in three homicides — and who now wants to back out of his guilty pleas — was postponed to Nov. 7 during court proceedings Friday.

Lawyer Sean O’Connor, who represents Christopher Richard Lanteigne, requested the continuance after running into delays securing potential witnesses at West Valley Detention Center, in Rancho Cucamonga, O’Connor said during proceedings in San Bernardino Superior Court.

O’Connor said he plans to subpoena witnesses at the jail for the hearing.

“That is the cause for the delay,” O’Connor told Judge Brian McCarville.

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