A judge ordered a Boulevard man on June 27 to stand trial for allegedly killing his older brother with a shotgun after an argument.
Approximately 10 friends, family members and neighbors attended the preliminary hearing of David Wayne Smith, 52, who is charged with murder in the Nov. 1, 2018, slaying of Danny Smith, 63.
Dr. Leslie Anderson, a deputy medical examiner, told El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Lamborn the cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head.
Anderson said the entry wound was through the left eye and because there was soot around the wound, the shotgun was fired “in a close range” to the victim.
Anderson said the shotgun was fired from a distance of “inches to possibly a foot or two” from the victim.
The slaying occurred around 4:17 p.m. inside a residence on the property at 38326 Highway 94. Both brothers lived on the rural property in separate residences.
“I shot Danny in the eye,” said David Smith at the scene to someone, according to sheriff’s detective Rene Kirchhoefer.
“He believed the safety was on,” said Kirchhoefer, who interviewed David Smith. “He might have taken it off as he shot it earlier in the day.”
The detective interviewed other witnesses including the brothers’ mother who said David Smith had complained about a lack of feeling in his hands after dropping some tools.
Smith’s attorney, Shea Connelly, told the judge Smith had no criminal record except for a DUI incident 10 years ago.
Connelly described the incident as “a tragic accident where a shotgun was discharged inside a residence.”
Connelly urged Lamborn not to order Smith to stand trial for murder, adding there was no evidence it was a deliberate shooting.
“There is credible evidence he was in an angry state of mind,” said Deputy District Attorney Agustin Pena.
Pena said the shooting followed an argument between the brothers, and a trial issue would be whether or not it was intentional.
The prosecutor said David Smith should not have grabbed a shotgun following an argument. “Minimally, (it is) a very, very reckless act,” said Pena.
Lamborn also ordered Smith to stand trial for discharging a weapon in a grossly negligent manner.
Smith pleaded not guilty at the end of the hearing. A trial date was set for Oct. 7.
Smith remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $2 million bail. He waived his right to have a speedy trial.
26 years to life given in homicide with knife
A man who stabbed David Twofeathers Durbin to death outside a 7-Eleven store in El Cajon was sentenced June 21 to 26 years to life in state prison.
Antonio Jesus Muro, 30, of Spring Valley, was sentenced by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Herbert Exarhos to 25 years to life for the homicide plus one year for using a knife in the crime.
A jury convicted Muro after deliberating about two hours on May 20, said Deputy District Attorney Clayton Carr. Many family members spoke before sentencing.
Durbin, 25, was stabbed near the convenience store in the 700 block of Jamacha Road. Both men got into a heated physical argument a week before the fatal stabbing, said Carr.
Muro was arrested 30 hours after the stabbing by El Cajon Police in the 9900 block of Buena Vista Drive in Spring Valley. He received approximately one year of jail credits.