Murder and robbery trial ends in conviction

Courtesy Photo.

Two people were convicted July 1 of murder and robbery in the 2017 death of Travis Lewis, a former Grossmont College student, at a parking lot at the Burlington Coat Factory in La Mesa.

A Sept. 10 sentencing was set for Derrick Eli Henderson, 32, and Kathryn Luwana Williams, 27, by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Lantz Lewis, who is not related to the 30-year-old victim.

Travis Lewis was shot and died at the scene at 7938 El Cajon Boulevard on July 20, 2017 shortly after the 6:47 p.m. shooting. Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha was the prosecutor.

Henderson was the gunman. Henderson was arrested later that night after a La Mesa police detective shot at him in City Heights. The shot missed and Henderson was arrested. Williams was arrested earlier.

Both Henderson and Williams remain in jail without bail. The trial began in mid-June.

Pregnant woman killed in drunk driving accident

An alleged drunk driver went on trial July 3 for murder in the tragic case of a pregnant woman who died after her car was struck and it hit a tree in East County.

“He decided to drink all day,” said Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans to jurors about Andrew Dorian Milonis’s decision “to get behind the wheel and drive.”

Milonis, 46, of Ramona, is charged with killing Jessica Foderingham, 29, and her unborn daughter, who died May 14, 2017, after Milonis allegedly struck that car on San Vicente Road at 6:46 p.m.

“He had not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but at least seven drinks” that day before the crash, said Evans.

After the crash, Milonis decided to take a Lyft ride after his black GMC Yukon was disabled. Evans said when the Lyft driver asked where he could take him, Milonis answered, “anywhere I can get a drink.”

Milonis’ attorney, Ward Clay, said the deaths were due to “a tragic accident,” but Milonis “wasn’t near San Vincente Road” that day.

Clay told jurors the beer purchased at a liquor store was never opened. He described the case as circumstantial.

Clay urged jurors to “keep an open mind” during the 3-week trial before El Cajon Superior Court Judge John Thompson.

Besides two counts of murder, Milonis is also charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run with two deaths, DUI and driving with a suspended license.

Milonis appeared in court in a wheelchair and wearing a plastic helmet with white bandages underneath. Thompson told the jury not to consider his appearance. He has pleaded not guilty.

Evans told jurors his blood/alcohol level was .20 four hours after the crash, but it is suspected that his blood/alcohol level was “nearly quadruple the legal limit” at the time of the crash.

The prosecutor said Milonis was aware drunk driving was dangerous because he collided with a fence in November 2016, when his blood/alcohol level was .28.

The first witness was Christian Foderingham who was following his wife’s Dodge Dart as they were going to have dinner with her grandparents in Ramona.

Christian Foderingham, a U.S. Marine, testified a black vehicle swerved into his wife’s car, and he pulled over after her car struck a tree.

“I got out of the car to go help my wife,” said Foderingham. “She was slumped down, unresponsive.”

“I had to break the window,” said Foderingham, who said he cut off her seat belt and shoulder strap.

A bartender testified he stopped serving Milonis drinks after he appeared to be intoxicated. He gave Milonis a card for a ride share business, but Milonis got into his own car and drove off.

Milonis’s trial was delayed after he was found mentally incompetent and sent to a state mental hospital. A judge in April ruled he had regained his mental competency.

He remains in jail on $3 million bail and has pleaded not guilty.