Defense continues for man accused of killing Jacumba Pastor

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The defense was to continue this week for the man charged with killing Pastor Craig Hodson of the Grace Baptist Church in Jacumba over an eviction notice.

Attorney Taylor Gaines, who represents Paul David Carr, 61, told the jury in El Cajon Superior Court and Judge John Thompson that Carr may have fired in self-defense.

The defense was to continue this week for the man charged with killing Pastor Craig Hodson of the Grace Baptist Church in Jacumba over an eviction notice.

Attorney Taylor Gaines, who represents Paul David Carr, 61, told the jury in El Cajon Superior Court and Judge John Thompson that Carr may have fired in self-defense.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lazar told the jury he would ask them to convict Carr of first-degree murder of Hodson, 55, who was described as a peaceful man who avoided confrontations.

The eight women, four-man jury heard different descriptions of the Oct. 16, 2016, incident at Hodson’s property on Old Highway 80 in Pine Valley where Carr rented a cabin from Hodson.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lazar played the 911 tape of Maria Hodson who reported her husband had been shot at 7:22 p.m. in the garage.

Lazar noted that Carr, who was in court with a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, was “capable of getting place to place on his own feet” and did not require oxygen to shoot Hodson twice.

Lazar said Carr had received a 60-day eviction notice on Oct. 5 following several years of conflict with Maria Hodson. A move-out sheet was placed on Carr’s door about 15 minutes before Hodson was shot.

Carr entered the garage where Hodson was and fired four shots. Two shots missed, but one bullet went into Hodson’s shoulder and traveled to his aorta, and another bullet went into his back as he was fleeing.

Hodson also delivered propane to people in East County for many years.

Gaines held up what he called “a 9-foot chainsaw” which he claimed the minister picked up, causing Carr to fire in self-defense.

The tool is actually a polesaw with an 8-foot handle and a 6 to 12-inch blade that is used to prune branches off trees during landscaping.

Christian Hodson, 23, testified Monday the polesaw is old and “a piece of crap” which took 7-8 minutes to start. The tool was found on the garage floor.

Gaines told the jury Craig Hodson was holding the “9-foot chainsaw” as a weapon. “Paul Carr had no choice” but to shoot, said his attorney. Gaines told jurors to find Carr not guilty of first-degree murder.

Carr suffers from COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, which requires he use oxygen, and has a herniated disc in which he needs a wheelchair.

Gaines said Carr reached a 911 dispatcher first, saying he shot his landlord “who came at me with a chainsaw.” Carr also requested an ambulance for Hodson and for himself while telling the dispatcher he had a terminal illness.

Maria Hodson testified Carr moved into a cabin on the property in 2012, but Carr began treating her rudely in 2014.

Maria Hodson said Carr continued for months sending “demeaning, degrading text messages” to her husband. Some of the messages were shown on a screen to jurors.

“My father was really trying…to keep the peace,” said Christian Hodson. “He was always trying to keep things calm, talk things out.”

Carr has pleaded not guilty. He remains in jail on $1 million bail.

San Diego man sentenced in La Mesa robbery

Elvis Ali Rojas, 19, of San Diego, has been sentenced to seven years in state prison after pleading guilty to robbing a woman outside a restaurant in La Mesa.

Rojas also pleaded guilty to auto theft, driving under the influence of alcohol as a misdemeanor, and committing domestic violence to a female roommate.

A 51-year-old woman sitting in her car outside the Denny’s restaurant at 4235 Spring Street called 911 at 2:06 a.m. on Feb. 1, saying a man hit her in the head with a wrench and demanded money.

Rojas took her purse, car keys, and cellphone. He tried to steal her car, but was unsuccessful. The woman was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released.

Rojas received credit for four months in jail. He was on probation at the time for receiving stolen property, according to court records.

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