Man found guilty of second-degree murder

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An El Cajon man was found guilty of second-degree murder Sept. 18 in the death of a man who was shot in his own driveway during a dispute.

Vincent Frank Pedersen, 43, was convicted of killing Richard Kent Chartier, 34, an acquaintance who was shot in the abdomen in the 1300 block of Oro Street in El Cajon on Nov. 4, 2016.

The jury found that Pedersen used a gun in the homicide following deliberations that lasted about a day in El Cajon Superior Court.

An El Cajon man was found guilty of second-degree murder Sept. 18 in the death of a man who was shot in his own driveway during a dispute.

Vincent Frank Pedersen, 43, was convicted of killing Richard Kent Chartier, 34, an acquaintance who was shot in the abdomen in the 1300 block of Oro Street in El Cajon on Nov. 4, 2016.

The jury found that Pedersen used a gun in the homicide following deliberations that lasted about a day in El Cajon Superior Court.

Judge Herbert Exarhos set sentencing for Nov. 14. Pedersen remains in jail on $1 million bail.

Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha said Pedersen faces 25 years on the gun charge plus 15 years to life consecutively on the murder count.

Trocha said Pedersen accused the victim of stealing his bicycle. The bicycle somehow was returned to Pedersen but was stolen again, and he went over to Chartier’s house to accuse him of taking it again, said Trocha.

The prosecutor said there was no proof the victim took the bicycle, but Pedersen believed it was true. He testified Sept. 14 that he shot Chartier in self-defense.

The jury acquitted Pedersen of committing first-degree murder. Testimony began Sept. 11 after jury selection started the first week of September.

Extradition for murder suspect

A preliminary hearing was set Friday for Jan. 24, 2018, for a murder suspect who was extradited from Mexico in the 2011 slaying of Jalal “Joe” Abou, of El Cajon.

Abou, 63, was found shot to death at his auto repair shop in Point Loma on April 19, 2011. A former employee, Nicolas Brito Rosales, now 53, is charged with his murder.

Rosales fled to Mexico after the slaying, but Mexican officials arrested him for an undisclosed crime in 2013. He began serving a term in a Mexican prison.

The U.S. Marshal’s Service arrested him Sept. 12 in Mexico City after his term ended and he was brought to San Diego. He pleaded not guilty and remains in the central jail on $4 million bail.

Rosales appeared Friday before San Diego Superior Court Judge Lisa Rodriguez and he waived his right to have a speedy hearing.

Abou’s funeral was held April 26, 2011, in El Cajon.

Drunk driver gets 60 days in work furlough facility

A Lemon Grove man who crashed his car into a palm tree while intoxicated and injured his three children was sentenced Sept. 19 to 60 days in a work furlough facility.

Noel Bences, 29, will be able to go to work during the day, but will be locked up at night and on weekends because his job qualified for work furlough, said Deputy District Attorney Samira Seidu.

Bences remains free on $100,000 bond and was to surrender Sept. 28 to begin his term. He was placed on five years probation with standard alcohol conditions which include attendance at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel, said Seidu.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Groch gave him credit for five days already spent in jail. His attorney asked for no further time in custody and home detention.

His blood/alcohol level was .23 which is nearly three times the legal limit, according to court records. He was driving in San Diego May 12 when he struck a palm tree and his car overturned at 8:30 p.m.

Bences pleaded guilty Aug. 4 to drunk driving and child endangerment. Two other counts of child endangerment were dismissed. He could have received a maximum sentence of six years and eight months.           

Sex offender sentenced for failure to register

A registered sex offender from Lemon Grove was sentenced Sept. 19 to 180 days in jail for failing to register with law enforcement about his new address.

Rainier Aquino Raroque, 32, is projected to be released from jail on Nov. 4, according to the sheriff’s department. He received credit for serving about two months in jail.

Raroque pleaded guilty to failing to register in El Cajon Superior Court and he has a prior misdemeanor offense for also failing to register in 2016. He served 90 days in jail for the first offense, according to court records.

A warrant for his arrest was issued Aug. 1. A sheriff’s deputy on patrol recognized him Aug. 6 around Palm Street in Lemon Grove at 11 p.m. and he was arrested. Raroque was placed on three years probation Sept. 19.

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