Lake Murray man sentenced in murder case

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A Lake Murray man whose letter said he hates himself for shooting his girlfriend to death while she was holding their baby was sentenced Feb. 1 to 35 years to life in prison.

The parents and sisters of Vanessa Marie Bobo, 29, spoke out about their loss of their family member at the sentencing of Rodrick Lamar Harris, 33, who did not look at them at San Diego Superior Court.

A Lake Murray man whose letter said he hates himself for shooting his girlfriend to death while she was holding their baby was sentenced Feb. 1 to 35 years to life in prison.

The parents and sisters of Vanessa Marie Bobo, 29, spoke out about their loss of their family member at the sentencing of Rodrick Lamar Harris, 33, who did not look at them at San Diego Superior Court.

Harris pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, use of a gun in a homicide, and two counts of child endangerment, as Bobo’s two children were present when she was shot on Oct. 12, 2016 at 1 a.m.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Ialeggio said her office was videotaping the crime impact statements made by the victim’s family so it can be considered when parole is possible in perhaps 35 or more years. 

“You can’t hate me more than I hate myself,” said Harris in a letter read in court by his attorney, Victoria Barana. “I will carry the shame of my actions forever. I apologize for the hurt and trauma I caused.”

Judge Eugenia Eyerabide ordered Harris to pay $6,492 for Bobo’s funeral costs and a $10,364 fine.

Brady Bobo, the woman’s father, said the youngest boy, now 6, still has nightmares from the incident in the apartment in the 6400 block of Lake Arrowhead Drive. 

Brady Bobo said, “we’re going to have to tell (the toddler, now 2) who his mother was.”

“What I would like is the death penalty,” said Brady Bobo.

“This is not what humans do. He has no mercy,” said Marie Bobo, her mother. “He’s like an animal. He took their only mother. He gave us a lifetime of grief. Roderick is deserving to spend the rest of his life in prison. He took a life he cannot take back.”

Latoiya Robinson, her oldest sister, said family members had to clean up the apartment afterwards, including blood on the carpet.

Latoiya Robinson said she went to view her sister’s body, telling her “I loved her over and over.” She said her family welcomed Harris “time and time again.”

“My heart broke in a million pieces,” said Latoiya Robinson.

“He changed the course of everyone’s life with one burst of gunfire,” said John Robinson, his brother-in-law. “He took a mother away from two tiny boys. We can never be their mother Vanessa.”

“Thank goodness the kids have all of you,” said Eyerabide. 

The judge imposed 15 years to life for murder plus 20 years consecutively for using a gun in a homicide. The sentences for child endangerment were concurrent.

He received jail credits of 476 days since he was arrested 12 hours later in Chula Vista.`

Barana, his attorney, said, “Mr. Harris takes responsibility for what he has done” with his guilty pleas. She said she has yet to meet a client who was more remorseful than Harris.

Harris would be about 68 years old or older when he would be first considered for parole.

Man convicted in El Cajon murder

Vincent Frank Pedersen, 44, was sentenced Jan. 30 to 25 years to life in prison for killing Richard Kent Chartier, 34, in the driveway of his home in El Cajon.

Pedersen shot Chartier at 1321 Oro Street after claiming the victim had stolen his bicycle a month earlier. Pedersen got the bike back, but it went missing again, according to testimony in his murder trial in El Cajon Superior Court.

Judge Herbert Exarhos imposed 15 years to life for second-degree murder plus 10 years for using a gun in a homicide. He gave him credit for already serving 452 days in jail since the Nov. 4, 2016, slaying.

Exarhos ordered Pedersen to pay $753.50 for funeral expenses and a $1,224 fine.

Pedersen read a letter of apology to the friends and family of Chartier, some of whom were in court but they did not speak.

A jury acquitted Pedersen of first-degree murder on Sept. 18, 2017, and found him guilty of second-degree murder while personally using a gun in a homicide.

Pedersen claimed he had acted in self-defense. There was no proof ever submitted by the defense that Chartier had anything to do with the stolen bicycle, said Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha.

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