April 14, 2024
One of many Sept. 4, 2000 victims, Adah Pearson. Discover a Grave photograph

A person accused of gunning down a younger couple and a toddler in Regular Heights greater than 20 years in the past was ordered Thursday to face trial on homicide prices.

Sergio Lopez Contreras, 45, is accused within the Sept. 4, 2000, shootings of Michael Plummer, 20, Plummer’s girlfriend, Adah Pearson, 18, and Plummer’s nephew, Julio Rangel Jr., who was 21 months outdated.

Prosecutors argued the capturing, which befell at an condo on Bancroft Road, was sparked as a result of Plummer owed Contreras cash for medication. Witnesses testified that the sum of money at situation was between $20 and $30.

Contreras allegedly confronted Plummer in regards to the cash, then fired greater than a dozen pictures into the condo with a rifle.

Retired San Diego police Detective Stephen McDonald, who responded to the capturing scene, testified at a preliminary listening to that Pearson was mendacity on a sofa behind Plummer when the capturing occurred. Bullets went by means of the wall behind Pearson and entered a bed room on the opposite facet, the place the toddler was situated, McDonald mentioned.

The kid’s mother and father had been current when the capturing befell however had been unhurt, in keeping with the detective.

Plummer died on the scene, whereas Pearson and the newborn had been taken to hospitals, the place they had been later pronounced useless.

In line with preliminary listening to testimony, Contreras was recognized because the gunman by a number of individuals who had been allegedly current throughout the capturing.

Contreras’ protection legal professional, Neil Besse, argued none of these witnesses had been dependable. The legal professional instructed these individuals had “each motive to lie” as a result of they might have had some involvement within the capturing or different crimes.

San Diego police mentioned Contreras, who was 22 on the time of the shootings, fled to Mexico.

Prosecutors filed prices in opposition to Contreras in 2007. Together with three counts of homicide, he faces special-circumstance allegations of mendacity in wait and committing a number of murders, which means he might face both life in jail with out the potential of parole or the demise penalty, ought to prosecutors pursue it.

He was arrested in Mexico on unrelated prices and extradited to San Diego earlier this yr.

– Metropolis Information Service