Man ordered to stand trial in Santee hotel death

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Mark Michael Everitt, 53, has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the May, 2015 death of Julie Ann Marie Ulm, 55, who was found dead in a Santee hotel.

Eight witnesses testified at the preliminary hearing of Everitt by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Lorna Alksne on April 18. Both Everitt and Ulm were temporary residents in separate rooms at the Rodeway Inn, 10135 Mission Gorge Road.

Mark Michael Everitt, 53, has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the May, 2015 death of Julie Ann Marie Ulm, 55, who was found dead in a Santee hotel.

Eight witnesses testified at the preliminary hearing of Everitt by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Lorna Alksne on April 18. Both Everitt and Ulm were temporary residents in separate rooms at the Rodeway Inn, 10135 Mission Gorge Road.

A deputy medical examiner said Ulm suffered blunt force trauma to her head and part of a lemon was stuffed down her throat. The cause of death was believed to be asphyxiation.

Ulm was found dead in her room on May 25, 2015, after someone at the hotel around noon flagged a deputy from the Santee Station. Sheriff’s deputies investigated and arrested Everitt four days later in the 5000 block of Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa.

Everitt has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail on $2 million bail. Alksne ordered him to next appear in court on May 25 to set a trial date.

El Cajon couple posted bond in charges of forced labor

An El Cajon couple has posted $10,000 bond after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges they forced an Indonesian woman to be their housekeeper without pay and was held against her will.

Both Firas Majeed, 44, and Shatha Abbas, 38, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court on April 21 on charges of forced labor, trafficking for forced labor, forced servitude, and aiding and abetting. 

The housekeeper passed a note for help to a visiting nurse at the couple’s home in the 1000 block of South Mollison Avenue on March 18. After the note was translated by agents with Homeland Security, an immigration check was made March 22. The victim voluntarily went with agents after saying she did not want to remain in the household.

The housekeeper told agents she worked 16-18 days and did not have a day off. She received no salary and could only leave the house when they went to a supermarket. She could not speak English, had no money, and did not know anyone in the U.S.

She took care of Abbas’ father and helped him into a wheelchair, and also took care of the couple’s children. She cooked, cleaned, washed, and ironed the family’s clothes.

The woman traveled with Majeed to El Cajon from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates in November 2015, and Majeed kept her passport. She told agents Abbas often yelled at her and pushed her with an open hand. Verbal abuse was common.

“Human trafficking is a deplorable practice that amounts to modern slavery, and many of these victims are hiding in plain sight,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in a statement.

Majeed told agents the woman had been working for the family for five years and previously worked for Abbas’ brother, a physician, in Dubai. The housekeeper told agents she did work for Abbas’ brother in similar conditions.

Majeed said the woman had weekends off and only worked eight hours a day. He said he had a contract with her, but could not provide it to agents.

Majeed, who is also known as Firas Al Tameemi, and Abbas, who is also known as Shatha Hussain, will next appear in court on May 27.

Prison term for man pleading guilty in Lakeside stabbing

A 9-year term in state prison has been handed down to Michael John Lazzaro, 24, who pleaded guilty to stabbing a black man in Lakeside in a gang related incident.

Lazzaro pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in an incident on Jan. 8, 2015 in which a black man was stabbed in the upper torso after Lazzaro and four other white males surrounded him in the 12700 block of Mapleview Street.

Lazzaro pleaded guilty on Oct. 22, 2015, but hired a new attorney to withdraw his guilty plea but was unsuccessful in doing that.

Ryan Gallo, 24, pleaded guilty to felony assault and admitted the hate crime allegation. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail on terms of three years probation in 2015. A third man was sentenced for possession of marijuana for sale.