Accused killer of 65-year-old woman remains silent

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The accused killer of an El Cajon woman remained silent in court Nov. 2 and the judge ordered him to remain in jail without bail.

Diane Spagnuolo, 65, was stabbed to death Oct. 29 where she worked at the X-Spot adult bookstore at 3600 Midway Drive and robbery is believed to be the motive.

Spagnuolo worked for the Salvation Army for 16 years and she was also the assistant manager of her mobile home park in El Cajon.

A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Shaun Douglas Ward, 39, by his attorney Raymond Aragon.

The accused killer of an El Cajon woman remained silent in court Nov. 2 and the judge ordered him to remain in jail without bail.

Diane Spagnuolo, 65, was stabbed to death Oct. 29 where she worked at the X-Spot adult bookstore at 3600 Midway Drive and robbery is believed to be the motive.

Spagnuolo worked for the Salvation Army for 16 years and she was also the assistant manager of her mobile home park in El Cajon.

A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Shaun Douglas Ward, 39, by his attorney Raymond Aragon.

Ward refused to say a word or answer questions during his arraignment by San Diego Superior Court Judge Maureen Hallahan. She asked Ward to state his name and date of birth for the record and he looked down and remained silent.

Ward also refused to sign a statement saying his attorney Raymond Aragon had advised him of his Constitutional rights. Aragon told the judge he was “non-responsive” when he read Ward his rights.

Hallahan then read a page of his rights to Ward in open court, but he refused to acknowledge that he had heard them. She read into the record that she had advised him and he gave no response.

“He has been nonverbal. He did not say he was not Shawn Ward,” said Hallahan.

“It was a robbery – she happened to be there, wrong place and wrong time,” said the victim’s daughter, Alexis Wylie, of El Cajon, afterwards. “She was a kind person and loved helping others. We were very close. It is a sudden shock as to what happened.

“I want this man to be held accountable for what he has done. I am very confident he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Someone walked into the store at 1:45 p.m. on Oct. 29 and called 911 after finding Spagnuolo with trauma to her upper body.

Hallahan set a preliminary hearing for Nov. 16.  Ward remains in the central jail.

Woman charged with murder and gross vehicular manslaughter

A Santee woman surrendered Nov. 2 in court after being charged with murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of another driver in a wrong-way crash.

Lauren Ashley Freeman, 23, was handcuffed by a sheriff’s deputy after she pleaded not guilty to all charges before San Diego Superior Court Judge Maureen Hallahan.

She is accused of driving while intoxicated on Feb. 26 at 1:55 a.m. and crashing into a vehicle driven by Justin Callahan, 35, on Interstate 5 by driving the wrong way.

Initially, the California Highway Patrol investigation said the collision was Callahan’s fault, but they recently determined it was due to Freeman driving the wrong way.

The CHP initially thought Callahan was driving the wrong way, but his family insisted he was coming home from work.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged at a transition ramp between Interstate 8 and 5 near Old Town. A passenger from El Cajon in Freeman’s vehicle suffered moderate injuries.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans told the judge Freeman’s blood/alcohol level was .28, which is three times the legal limit.

“She put the entire community at risk,” said Evans.

Evans said Freeman previously worked as a server at the Viejas casino in Alpine and she was taught a course about serving alcoholic drinks. Evans added that Freeman had a relationship with someone who was later charged with DUI.

Evans asked for bail being set at $1 million, while her attorney asked for $500,000 bail. Hallahan set it at $1 million and she remains in the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility.

A bail review was to be held Nov. 7 and a preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 15. If Freeman proceeds to a trial, a jury may decide whether she committed second-degree murder or gross vehicular manslaughter.

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