50 years to life for man who killed Jacumba pastor

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The convicted killer of Pastor Craig Hodson of the Grace Baptist Church of Jacumba was sentenced Aug. 21 to 50 years to life in prison after he told a judge he did not have remorse.

About 30 spectators including many from Hodson’s family watched the sentencing of Paul David Carr, 61, of Pine Valley, who was convicted by a jury on June 21 of first-degree murder.

The convicted killer of Pastor Craig Hodson of the Grace Baptist Church of Jacumba was sentenced Aug. 21 to 50 years to life in prison after he told a judge he did not have remorse.

About 30 spectators including many from Hodson’s family watched the sentencing of Paul David Carr, 61, of Pine Valley, who was convicted by a jury on June 21 of first-degree murder.

Carr made a rambling statement to El Cajon Superior Court Judge John Thompson, who imposed 25 years to life for the murder. He added 25 years for the personal use of a gun in a homicide, as recommended by Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lazar.

“Craig is the best human being put on this earth,” said Carr initially.

Carr told Thompson he didn’t have remorse because he didn’t believe he was guilty. Carr claimed he shot Hodson, 55, in self-defense after the pastor picked up a 9-foot pole saw in the garage where Hodson was shot in the aorta and in the back.

Carr appeared in court in a wheelchair due to a herniated disc and he also used oxygen from a tank because he has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Lazar noted he was not in a wheelchair or using oxygen when he shot Hodson.

Carr was living in a cabin on Hodson’s property and received an eviction notice 11 days earlier following a series of rude text messages he sent to the pastor and his wife. A move out sheet was placed on his door Oct. 16, 2016, and Carr angrily walked over to Hodson’s garage with a gun.

Thompson imposed a $10,000 fine and gave him credit for 309 days in jail since the slaying in the 365600 block of Old Highway 80 in Pine Valley.

Many witnesses talked about the legacy Craig Hodson left behind in the 10 years he pastored the Jacumba church. For many years, he also delivered propane in the backcountry.

Maria Hodson was present and she wrote a letter to Thompson, which was read aloud by Craig Hodson II in which she said her husband “was loved by many.”

“I lost my best friend, my high school sweetheart,” wrote Maria Hodson. “Craig’s loving memory will always be in our hearts. Despite our great loss, I do not hate Carr because it takes too much energy.”

“Paul Carr, you murdered my little brother,” began the victim’s sister, Celeste Diaz.

“You robbed their 11 children of their father. Paul Carr, you have devastated Craig and Maria’s 12 grandchildren,” said Diaz.

“I hope you suffer in prison and burn in hell!” said Diaz. “Paul Carr, the sentence you receive today will not compare to God’s wrath!”

Several of Hodson’s children have suffered from depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder since the slaying, said Candida Duenas, one of his daughters.

Duenas said both traumatic and yet wonderful memories of her father will live on. “Forgiveness is therapeutic, and I hope we all get there,” said Duenas.

Carr’s attorney, Taylor Gaines, did not make a statement in court and said he will represent Carr at a restitution hearing to determine if Carr should pay for funeral expenses.

A seven woman, five man jury convicted Carr after deliberating only 40 minutes on June 21 in a trial that began June 12.

Carr called 911 after he shot Hodson and requested an ambulance for Hodson and for himself.

Uber driver pleads guilty to rape

A former Uber driver who was charged with raping a passenger in El Cajon pleaded guilty Aug. 21 to 27 sex charges involving 15 victims including some who were videotaped and their identities are not known.

John David Sanchez, 53, of San Diego, faces a maximum sentence of 96 years and four months in state prison. El Cajon Superior Court Judge Evan Kirvin set sentencing for Nov. 8.

The sex charges include rape and oral copulation of an intoxicated or unconscious person, lewd act with a child, sexual battery, employing a minor to commit sexual acts, and assault with intent to commit rape.

Sanchez also pleaded guilty to two counts of furnishing a tranquilizer to a minor, and three counts of invading the privacy of someone with a concealed camera.

Deputy District Attorney Kerry Conway said many victims had been secretly videotaped and were found on his computer some months after his March 29, 2012 arrest by El Cajon Police.

Sanchez remains in jail without bail.

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