Lake Murray man to stand trial for murder of girlfriend

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A Lake Murray man has been ordered to stand trial for murder of his girlfriend who was shot in the back in front of her young son.

Rodrick Lamar Harris, 32, appeared May 3 in San Diego Superior Court on the murder charge in the Oct. 12, 2016 death of Vanessa Marie Bobo, 29.

Harris pleaded not guilty and was told to return June 14 to get a trial date set. He remains in jail on $4 million bail.

A Lake Murray man has been ordered to stand trial for murder of his girlfriend who was shot in the back in front of her young son.

Rodrick Lamar Harris, 32, appeared May 3 in San Diego Superior Court on the murder charge in the Oct. 12, 2016 death of Vanessa Marie Bobo, 29.

Harris pleaded not guilty and was told to return June 14 to get a trial date set. He remains in jail on $4 million bail.

Judge Joan Weber also ordered him to stand trial on two counts of child abuse at a preliminary hearing last month.

Bobo was holding her 1-year-old baby when she was shot around 1 a.m. and the baby dropped to the floor. Her 5-year-old son was in the room and told a police officer “my daddy killed my mommy,” said Deputy District Attorney Lindsey Carinci.

Bobo was shot in her apartment in the 6400 block of Lake Arrowhead Drive where Harris also lived. The two children were shaken and afraid, but were not physically injured, police reported.

A neighbor, Joshua Norris, testified he heard an argument before the shooting. “These walls are paper thin and you hear everything,” he said.

Norris testified he heard three gunshots and screaming from the children. He identified Harris as his neighbor also, and said he saw him leave in a car in the parking lot.

Dr. Abubakr Marzouk, a deputy medical examiner, testified the victim was shot in the back and the bullet hit her spinal cord. A detective testified seven firearms were found in the residence and one was registered to Harris.

Harris was arrested in Chula Vista at 12:20 p.m. near the home of a relative.  

Spring Valley man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

Sean Robert Kennedy, 46, of Spring Valley, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of an acquaintance in a fight.

Billy Wayne Taylor, 54, died in a hospital two days after he was beaten on June 21, 2016 outside the 7-Eleven store at 2840 Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley.

Kennedy has agreed to accept a four-year prison term at his sentencing on May 23 in El Cajon Superior Court. A judge at the preliminary hearing dismissed a murder charge and Kennedy was ordered to stand trial only for voluntary manslaughter.

Deputy District Attorney Valerie Ryan said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Sheriff’s deputies received a 911 call at 9:35 p.m. about a fight between the two men in the 7-Eleven parking lot.

Taylor was unresponsive and taken to a hospital. Witnesses told deputies Kennedy continued to strike the victim after he was knocked to the ground.

Kennedy fled, but was found in a park by detectives from the Fugitive Task Force. He remains in jail.

Court records show Kennedy pleaded guilty to assaulting another man in 2015 in Spring Valley and was sentenced to 32 days in jail on terms of three years probation.

El Cajon tax preparer sentenced

A former El Cajon tax preparer, Marla Lynn Cunningham, 53, has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $91,867 to the U.S. Treasury for filing fraudulent tax returns.

A 72-month prison term was sought by the U.S. Attorney General’s office while her lawyer requested an 18-month term from U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego.

She operated Cunningham’s Tax Service in El Cajon, but it ceased doing tax preparation services about three years ago. The business operated on vehicle registrations until she was arrested in August 2015, on the tax charges.

Cunningham pleaded guilty to three counts of preparing false tax returns in which she reported fictitious business losses and fictitious itemized deductions on her clients’ returns. The Internal Revenue Service often audited her clients’ tax returns.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said she reported inflated charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee expenses, and she claimed fictitious education credits that her clients were not entitled to receive.

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