Accused of murder, preliminary hearing set for Lemon Grove man

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A July 28 preliminary hearing has been set for Samuel Godinez, 37, of Lemon Grove, who has been charged with the May 16 murder of Christopher Gillette, 33, who was found shot to death in La Mesa.

Godinez has pleaded not guilty in El Cajon Superior Court and his bail was set at $2 million. Godinez was arrested May 27 in San Marcos by the La Mesa Police Department’s special response team.

A July 28 preliminary hearing has been set for Samuel Godinez, 37, of Lemon Grove, who has been charged with the May 16 murder of Christopher Gillette, 33, who was found shot to death in La Mesa.

Godinez has pleaded not guilty in El Cajon Superior Court and his bail was set at $2 million. Godinez was arrested May 27 in San Marcos by the La Mesa Police Department’s special response team.

Police learned of the shooting from a 911-phone call at 5:24 a.m. that said a man had been shot inside a bedroom of a residence in the 8200 block of El Paso Street in La Mesa. Gillette was found dead at the scene. Gillette, formerly of Lakeside, was recently staying in La Mesa.

Lemon Grove school assistant to be sentenced

Linda Lira, 31, a former after school assistant at Lemon Grove Academy, will be sentenced July 24 after she pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment and misdemeanor battery to three students during a bizarre incident when she barricaded herself and children in a classroom.

Lira is expected to receive up to a year in jail with a ban on employment in any type of childcare, according to court records. She will be ordered to maintain psychiatric treatment on terms of probation.

On March 25, Lira upended desks, threw things, and undressed and redressed several times with students in a classroom who became fearful. She reportedly called the students “angels” and said she had to protect them against “demons.”

Lira pleaded guilty June 25 before Judge Daniel Goldstein. Another judge ruled June 5 she was mentally competent to stand trial. She remains in the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility without bail.

Lakeside woman sentenced one year for threatening school official

Sarah Lomaintewa, 29, of Lakeside, was sentenced June 30 to one year in jail after she pleaded guilty to threatening an elementary school official. As a result of the threat, three East County schools were dismissed early on March 5.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein said she could serve the rest of her sentence in a residential drug treatment facility as she received credit for 236 days in jail. Lomaintewa was released to the facility days later.

Goldstein said she had not exhibited this type of behavior before and it appeared she had a sudden “psychotic break.” He placed her on three years probation and ordered her to stay 100 yards away from all schools.

“We believe methamphetamine played a role in her thoughts and decisions that day,” said Deputy District Attorney Daniel Shim.

According to her probation report, Lomaintewa was angry with her mother and made statements to others that she wanted to “shoot-up” a school without specifics. The threat was passed along to authorities.

“I was angry, but I never would have done anything to children,” said Lomaintewa to a probation officer.

Lomaintewa was under the influence of meth that day and sent a text to the principal of Lindo Park Elementary School, where students were sent home early. Students at El Capitan High School and Tierra Del Sol Elementary School were dismissed early.

Goldstein ordered her to attend anger management classes, and prohibited her from using or possessing alcohol. She was fined $1,424 and ordered to pay probation costs of $1,433.

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