No bail given to man accused of killing wife

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A judge declined to set any bail Nov. 26 for a former Jamul man who is accused of killing his wife nearly two years ago.

Winnie Perry Whitby III, 49, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Melissa Estrada Whitby, 49, whose body was discovered along a hiking path in the 15800 block of Skyline Truck Trail on Dec. 30, 2016.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Paugh asked El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador to deny bail, saying Whitby represents “a substantial danger to the public and a flight risk.”

A judge declined to set any bail Nov. 26 for a former Jamul man who is accused of killing his wife nearly two years ago.

Winnie Perry Whitby III, 49, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Melissa Estrada Whitby, 49, whose body was discovered along a hiking path in the 15800 block of Skyline Truck Trail on Dec. 30, 2016.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Paugh asked El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador to deny bail, saying Whitby represents “a substantial danger to the public and a flight risk.”

Whitby was arrested Oct. 30 at 3:30 a.m. at a home in Goldsboro, Maryland, where he had relocated after leaving East County. The murder charge was filed Oct. 16 after a long investigation by the sheriff’s department.

Paugh said Melissa Whitby was found stabbed to death about a mile from where the couple lived in Jamul. She said Winnie Whitby did not report his wife missing.

Her co-workers reported her missing to deputies. Whitby told deputies he had not seen her after Dec. 29, 2016 after she went for a walk. A Dec. 10 preliminary hearing was set.

Man pleads not guilty to charge of stabbing sister’s face before Thanskgiving

A Santee man pleaded not guilty Nov. 26 to charges of inflicting mayhem upon his sister who was stabbed in the face a few days before Thanksgiving.

Joseph Bodenstadt, 50, used a crutch to walk as he appeared in jail clothes during his video arraignment before Judge Robert Amador.

Bodenstadt is also charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest in the Nov. 20 incident at the Cameron’s Motorhome Park in the 8700 block of North Magnolia in Santee.

Amador declined to set any bail for Bodenstadt, at the request of Deputy District Attorney Anne Spitzberg. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The judge signed a protective order barring him from contacting his 49-year-old sister Christine and to stay 100 yards away from her if he is granted bail in the future.

“He has significant medical issues,” said his attorney Nan Monson, adding that he had a stroke 10 years ago.

The sister was taken to a hospital at 5:50 a.m. after sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call. She was transported to a hospital. The injury was not life threatening, the department said.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” said Spitzberg.

A Dec. 18 preliminary hearing was set.

Victim “forgives” attacker in rideshare stabbing

A rideshare driver who was stabbed in a robbery in El Cajon told a judge Nov. 20 he has forgiven his attacker.

Ferman Kawany testified at a hearing for Damon Van Thomas, 37, of Lemon Grove. Thomas has pleaded guilty to carjacking, robbery and auto theft, and faces a maximum term of 35 years to life in prison.

“My religion taught me to forgive,” said Kawany. “I am Muslim and I respect all religions. Never, never hurt someone else,” said Kawany to Thomas through an interpreter.

Kawany alluded to the July 10 incident by saying “that day he hurt me and took my car.”

El Cajon Police responded to multiple 911 calls about a 6:30 p.m. carjacking.

Judge Robert Amador set sentencing for Jan. 8 after his attorney requested a delay in his sentencing.

Deputy District Attorney James Koerber said Thomas’ sentence is so long because he has felony convictions for burglary and grand theft firearm. He said it is possible Thomas could receive 16 years.

Kawany was washing his car in El Cajon when Thomas took the car and stabbed Kawany in the chest, said Koerber. Kawany told a reporter he had immigrated from Iraq and added he had “a big heart to forgive.”

Thomas remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $200,000 bail.

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