Jury deliberations continued this week in the murder retrial of a former El Cajon man suspected of killing a 71-year-old man in 2000.
A jury began deliberations Jan. 22 for Edward Jamar Brooks, now 39, who is accused of bludgeoning LeRay “Mac” Parkins on Aug. 23, 2000 with a baseball bat.
Parkins was mortally wounded at 8:35 a.m. in an alley in North Park and did not regain consciousness in a hospital before he died.
Brooks’ first jury deadlocked 9-3 for conviction on Oct. 31, 2019 after jurors said they could not verify the accounts given by two other Spring Valley men who were with Brooks in 2000.
In 2018, police tested the empty pockets of Parkins’ pants for DNA evidence where his wallet was taken, and Brooks’ DNA was a confirmed match. Brooks was arrested in North Carolina.
“His lies have finally caught up with him and science has caught up with him,” said Deputy District Attorney Christina Arrollado in her rebuttal argument.
She said Brooks showed “reckless indifference to human life” when he struck Parkins in the head twice with the baseball bat.
“The defendant has been trying to get away with murder since 2000,” said Arrollado, who urged a guilty verdict for first-degree murder with the special circumstance of murder during a robbery, which carries a life term in prison without parole.
Brooks’ attorney, Robert Ford, asked for an acquittal, saying the murder was committed by Terrence Brown, now 38, saying “it was Brown’s bat.”
Ford acknowledged that Brooks had only been out of prison a week before the incident and he didn’t report what happened because Brooks was not supposed to associate with other gang members.
Brooks told the six man, six woman jury and San Diego Superior Court Judge David Gill that he was walking in the alley with Brown and Lester Bell, now 39, whom he said was fighting with Parkins.
“I walked up to get between them. I grabbed his shoulders and pushed him down,” said Brooks. “I was the one who grabbed his wallet.”
Brooks said the three of them left Brooks without injury. Brooks said he and Bell went to his car, but Brown went back to the alley and apparently killed him.
Bell and Brown are awaiting sentencing after they pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and robbery respectively.
Brooks testified earlier that day he was selling crack cocaine on Chambers Street in El Cajon.
The owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in La Mesa will be arraigned on Feb. 24 on three counts of misdemeanor battery of three TV newscasts employees for an incident Jan. 23 outside his store.
Peter Carzis, 76, was arrested by La Mesa Police Jan. 21 after video surfaced in TV newscasts of him punching reporters and camera personnel. He has since posted bond.
The most serious charge is felony vandalism in which the store owner allegedly threw a $7,000 TV camera to the pavement, breaking it.
A video of Carzis circulated on Facebook in which it was described that he fondled a woman outside his store. Reporters came to his shop on La Mesa Boulevard to ask him about the video.
Carzis has also been charged with a misdemeanor count of lewd behavior in public as well as spitting on a man walking down the sidewalk on Jan. 18.
He was shown angrily shoving and hitting several TV newscasts’ employees on the sidewalk. He made obscene gestures and some of his remarks were bleeped on the air.
Carzis is expected to plead not guilty in court.