Hearing set for man who ran over girlfriend with SUV

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A Jan. 24 preliminary hearing has been set for a Lemon Grove man who is accused of running over his girlfriend in Jamul in a rented SUV.

Bernadette Castillo, 46, of Lemon Grove, was killed July 27 when Rontarieo Deshaun Brown, 36, allegedly struck her after she got out of the vehicle on state Route 94 near Steele Canyon Road.

Brown got out of a red SUV and attempted to wake her up, saying “don’t you die on me,” according to witnesses in Brown’s arrest warrant declaration.

A Jan. 24 preliminary hearing has been set for a Lemon Grove man who is accused of running over his girlfriend in Jamul in a rented SUV.

Bernadette Castillo, 46, of Lemon Grove, was killed July 27 when Rontarieo Deshaun Brown, 36, allegedly struck her after she got out of the vehicle on state Route 94 near Steele Canyon Road.

Brown got out of a red SUV and attempted to wake her up, saying “don’t you die on me,” according to witnesses in Brown’s arrest warrant declaration.

Brown at some point left Castillo by the side of the road, saying “I don’t want to go to jail,” before he drove off, according to witnesses.

The rental vehicle was found abandoned in El Cajon on July 29 and Brown was arrested Sept. 10 by the California Highway Patrol at a Coronado hotel.

Brown is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, hit and run in a traffic fatality, and assault with a motor vehicle.

He has pleaded not guilty in El Cajon Superior Court.

Family members of the victim told the CHP she had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with Brown for years, according to court records.

“The victim made statements to the effect that if she ever ended up dead, Brown would be the one who did it,” according to the declaration.

Castillo was a mother and grandmother and her family had a funeral on Aug. 17.

Brown remains in jail on $770,000 bail.

Sentence set for man charged for gang-related violence

Dashawn Keon Griffin, 21, has been sentenced to nine years and eight months in state prison for his role in shooting a man in El Cajon in a gang related incident.

Griffin pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and admitted a gang allegation in the Nov. 11, 2017, incident at 9:57 p.m. in the 1500 block of E. Washington Avenue.

A retrial has been set for Jan. 23 for Jaquis Marquon “Moo Moo” Holiday, 20, and Andre Antonio “Lil Smoke” Turner, 21, in El Cajon Superior Court following a mistrial Oct. 19.

Jurors deadlocked and could not reach a verdict on any of the charges which include attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and using a gun to benefit a criminal street gang.

The victim was seriously wounded when he was shot through his abdomen and upper right leg. Holiday and Turner have both pleaded not guilty and remain in jail.

Man who threw knife at school girl claimed mentally ill

Criminal proceedings have been suspended against a Spring Valley man who had been ordered to stand trial for throwing a folded-up knife at a 13-year-old girl in La Mesa while chasing her.

Bernard Eugene Graham II, 34, was seen following the girl on her way to school on May 21 at 8:50 a.m. near Fletcher Parkway by witnesses in the preliminary hearing before El Cajon Superior Court Judge Jeff Fraser.

La Mesa Police Officer Peter West shot Graham after he was seen holding a large machete and did not follow the officer’s commands. West testified Graham held a machete “raised up as he was charging towards me” before he shot him in the abdomen and arm.

A trial had been set for Jan. 15 on charges of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of resisting executive officers, but the trial was canceled because of the mental competency issue.

His attorney told a judge on Dec. 10 that he doubted his client was mentally competent and the judge was required to suspend criminal proceedings so a psychiatrist can evaluate him in jail.

A mental competency hearing was set for Feb. 25 and Graham remains in jail.

“I asked for someone to help me but everyone just stayed in their cars,” the 13-year-old girl testified, and said she added she escaped into a Subway restaurant.

Another witness, Carlos Pickens, testified he saw Graham “chasing a little kid” and “was in the middle of the street, screaming and hollering with the knife in his hand” before he was shot.

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