Forensic technology advances lead to reopening of 18-year-old case

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Three former East County residents have been charged in a 2000 cold case homicide of a 71-year-old man who was severely beaten with a baseball bat and later died following a robbery.

Recent advances in forensic technology led to the arrests of the trio who were arrested in other states and are fighting extradition proceedings to San Diego.

Three former East County residents have been charged in a 2000 cold case homicide of a 71-year-old man who was severely beaten with a baseball bat and later died following a robbery.

Recent advances in forensic technology led to the arrests of the trio who were arrested in other states and are fighting extradition proceedings to San Diego.

The DNA of Edward Jamar Brooks, now 38, was found inside the pants pocket of LeRay Parkins, who died three days after he was beaten Aug. 23, 2000 in a North Park alley, according to Brooks’ arrest warrant declaration. The victim’s pockets were turned inside out and Brooks’ DNA was found in the pocket where the victim’s wallet was kept.

Brooks, formerly of El Cajon, was arrested in North Carolina after San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert O’Neill issued a warrant for his arrest on May 16.

Also charged are former Spring Valley residents Lester Roshunn Bell, now 38, and Terrence Maurice Brown, now 36. Both Bell and Brown were arrested in Colorado and Arizona respectively in late May.

Brooks is suspected of wielding a baseball bat and striking Parkins in the head and taking his wallet, according to court records.

The men are also accused of a special circumstance of committing a murder during a robbery in which the District Attorney’s office could either seek the death penalty or a life term in prison if they are convicted of first-degree murder.

The men are suspected of using Parkins’ credit card to buy $169 in clothing for themselves at a thrift store, and $16 in gasoline at a Spring Valley service station, according to the arrest warrant declaration.

District Attorney spokesman Steve Walker said the men will remain in jail in other states while they fight the extradition proceedings.

Men face torture, robbery charges

Two East County men face a June 1 preliminary hearing on charges they kidnapped, robbed, and beat a man in an extortion plan involving a stolen motorcycle.

Derrick Spurgeon, 38, of El Cajon, and Kenneth Schutt, 34, of Lakeside, have pleaded not guilty to all charges in San Diego Superior Court.

The charges also include torture, robbery, assault, and burglary. The victim was diagnosed with multiple facial fractures and was hospitalized for several days.

Spurgeon has been charged separately with accessory after the fact in a homicide in which a music producer’s body was found inside a 55-gallon drum that was submerged in San Diego Bay.

Spurgeon is only charged with providing a boat so co-defendant Timothy John Cook, 52, could dispose of the body of Omar Medina, 28. A preliminary hearing is set for July 24 for them.

Spurgeon is also charged with transportation and possession of controlled substances for sale in a separate third case. He has denied all charges. Both Spurgeon and Schutt remain in jail.

Accused plead ‘not guilty’ to car shooting

A judge ordered two men May 21 to stand trial for attempted murder in a gang related shooting of a man in El Cajon.

Jaquis Marquon Holiday, 19, and Andre Antonio Turner, 21, are also charged with assault with a deadly weapon in a Nov. 11, 2017, incident in the 1500 block of E. Washington Avenue in El Cajon.

Surveillance camera footage showed the victim getting into a vehicle around 9:30 p.m. with others. The victim was shot in the abdomen and leg while in the car. The gun was pointed at the man’s head, but he pushed the gun down before it fired.

Several 911 calls were made to El Cajon Police at 9:47 p.m., and officers found the victim lying on a sidewalk. He was taken to a hospital.

Officers and the victim testified in the preliminary hearing before El Cajon Superior Court Judge Lantz Lewis.

Holiday’s nickname is “Moo Moo Holiday,” and Turner’s nickname is “Lil Smoke,” according to an arrest warrant declaration.

Both Holiday and Turner have pleaded not guilty and remain in jail on $1 million bail. They will return to court on June 4 to get a trial date set.

A $1 million warrant for the arrest of a third suspect, Dashawn Keon Griffin, 21, of Murrieta, Ca. was issued on Nov. 16, 2017 and remains outstanding.

Griffin is described in the warrant as a black male, 5’7” tall, 145 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.