Man to stand trial in murder of Jacumba pastor

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An El Cajon judge ordered a Boulevard man Feb. 6 to stand trial for murder in the shooting death of Craig Hodson, the pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Jacumba.

Paul David Carr, 61, will get a trial date set on Feb. 21 in El Cajon Superior Court after Judge John Thompson ordered him held to answer for murder in the Oct. 16, 2016, slaying of Hodson, 55, in the pastor’s garage.

An El Cajon judge ordered a Boulevard man Feb. 6 to stand trial for murder in the shooting death of Craig Hodson, the pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Jacumba.

Paul David Carr, 61, will get a trial date set on Feb. 21 in El Cajon Superior Court after Judge John Thompson ordered him held to answer for murder in the Oct. 16, 2016, slaying of Hodson, 55, in the pastor’s garage.

Hodson had served Carr with an eviction notice at his cabin on the property earlier that day. Carr was a member of the Jacumba church, according to testimony.

Hodson was shot in the chest and back. A bullet penetrated both lungs and his heart, said sheriff’s detective Karen Bloch.

An East County paramedic, Scott Countreman, testified Hodson was pronounced dead at the scene. He said he also treated Carr for shortness of breath and Carr admitted he shot the pastor after receiving an eviction notice.

Maria Hodson, the pastor’s widow, and several of his sons testified about hearing the shots at 7:22 p.m. and about strain with Carr. 

Chad Hodson testified he was cleaning the garage with his father and went into the house four minutes before the shooting. He said Carr sent his father “rude text messages.”

Deeann Hodson, who is married to the pastor’s brother, said she talked with Carr about his eviction and he told her he had an opportunity to move to New Mexico. She said Carr scared her.

Carr has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail on $1 million bail.

Spring Valley tax preparer to be sentenced

A Spring Valley tax preparer will be sentenced March 13 after she pleaded guilty to 13 counts of submitting false claims in tax returns she prepared.

Cynthia Lozano, 35, who owns CLozano Income Tax, has also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Lozano filed fraudulent Internal Revenue Service forms which caused the IRS to issue $1 million of refunds that were not allowed. Lozano used the Social Security numbers of over 200 taxpayers without their permission.

Lozano, who lived in Lemon Grove, could receive 20 years in federal prison from U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia in San Diego.

She used the proceeds of the fraud to purchase 20 properties in Phoenix, Arizona, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Those properties could be subject to forfeiture. Lozano was arrested on April 15, 2013, in Arizona, and had been free on $150,000 bond until that was revoked in 2016. She remains in custody.

Preliminary hearing set for man charged with two counts of second degree murder

A March 28 preliminary hearing was set Feb. 8 for Ryan Renz, a motorist who is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the drunk driving deaths of his two passengers in East County.

Renz, 24, has pleaded not guilty to causing the deaths of Johnny Ray Meyer, Jr., 23, and Dillon Cody Wiltfong, 26, on Jan. 25 on Buckman Springs Road in Campo.

Renz has also been charged in El Cajon Superior Court with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Renz has a prior conviction for drunk driving in 2015, said Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans.

“We take these cases very seriously and charge them appropriately,” said Evans.

Renz allegedly drank alcohol at a party and then attempted to drive home with his passengers. The medical examiner’s office said he was driving at a high rate of speed and failed to negotiate a curve. The car struck a tree, and rolled multiple times before coming to rest on its roof.

Renz remains in jail on $3 million bail.

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