Man convicted of murder for shooting acquaintance

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An El Cajon Superior Court jury convicted a man on April 26 of first-degree murder in the 2007 slaying of an acquaintance in Spring Valley.

Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said Marlin Lattereal Royal, 44, faces a state prison term of 50 years to life in prison for killing Idris “Rashad” Jones, 29.

The sheriff’s department received a 911 call at 10:28 p.m. on May 7, 2007 of a body on the side of the road in the 2300 block of Millar Rancho Road in Spring Valley.

An El Cajon Superior Court jury convicted a man on April 26 of first-degree murder in the 2007 slaying of an acquaintance in Spring Valley.

Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said Marlin Lattereal Royal, 44, faces a state prison term of 50 years to life in prison for killing Idris “Rashad” Jones, 29.

The sheriff’s department received a 911 call at 10:28 p.m. on May 7, 2007 of a body on the side of the road in the 2300 block of Millar Rancho Road in Spring Valley.

Jones had been killed with a shotgun blast to his upper body. The sheriff’s department continued the investigation and arrested Royal in June, 2016, for murder.

Judge Jeffrey Fraser set sentencing for May 25. Royal is already serving a 40-year prison term for robbery and kidnapping for an incident in Los Angeles County.

Nikoletich said Royal is expected to receive 25 years to life for the murder plus another 25-year term for using a gun in a homicide.

The jury deliberated for one and a half days before reaching their verdict. This was a retrial as a previous jury in Sept. 2017 deadlocked 9-3 in favor of conviction.

Royal and Jones met each other through a mutual friend. Royal claimed someone fired shots at his car and he thought Jones may have had something to do with it.

Sex Offender placed in East County

A judge on April 27 ordered a 71-year-old sex offender to be released under strict conditions at a house in Jacumba Hot Springs.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Howard Shore granted the release for Herman Joseph Smith, Jr., who has finished a 25-year prison term and has been in a state psychiatric facility since 2009.

Shore ordered Smith to be released on or before June 4. Smith was not present and is currently in a psychiatric hospital in Coalinga.

Two Jacumba residents asked the judge to consider not releasing Smith, saying his release will lower property values in the area.

“I’m very uncomfortable – I do think that Jacumba is a dumping ground for predators,” said David Jimenez. “I don’t fear for myself but for my grandkids. I don’t think it is fair. It’s going drop the value of my home.”

Bill Gomes, who is related to Jimenez, shared similar views.

“It’s done nothing but devalue the place,” he said.

Smith has to follow all the conditions set by Liberty Healthcare, which is an agency that contracts with the state and provides supervision for released sex offenders.

“I don’t take lightly the issue of releasing a man with this background,” said Shore, who said Smith has shown he was motivated to act appropriately.

“He better mind his P’s and Q’s because we will be watching,” said Shore.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, sent a letter to Shore objecting to the release and again suggested a trailer be used on prison grounds to house Smith.

Shore noted the trailer Jacob keeps referring to is no longer habitable and that the Department of Corrections forbids anyone to live on prison grounds.

“I don’t view this area as a dumping ground,” said Shore.

Shore said he visited the home and it was the same one where another sex offender was released to several years ago. That offender now qualifies to live elsewhere.

Smith’s first conviction was in 1973 for rape in San Bernardino and he was sent to prison. He was arrested in July, 1993, for a San Diego incident with another woman in which he pleaded guilty to rape, forcible oral copulation, and forcible sodomy.

 Date set for murder hearing

A June 13 preliminary hearing has been set for Dylan Poston, 26, who is accused of killing a sailor at a condominium in unincorporated El Cajon.

Anderson Lopes, 24, an active duty member of the U.S. Navy, was stabbed and his wife called 911 at 10:35 p.m. on March 6.

Sheriff’s deputies from the Lakeside station responded to the scene in the 13800 block of Pinkard Way.

Lakeside fire personnel took Lopes to a hospital where he died. Poston was arrested nearby.

Poston has pleaded not guilty in El Cajon Superior Court. He remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $3 million bail.

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