No bail set for man accused of killing man in his home

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A judge declined to set any bail last Friday for a La Mesa man who is accused of killing a man in his home.

Thomas Wayne Zupner, 65, pleaded not guilty to a murder charge before El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador on Sept. 20.

Attorneys did not go into the facts of the case at the brief arraignment. Amador set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 3.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived Sept. 17 at the home at 10924 Explorer Road in La Mesa and they found a man not breathing. Deputies initiated life saving measures until personnel from the San Miguel Fire Department in Spring Valley arrived.

The man died at 10:54 p.m. despite their efforts.

Couple charged with killing 7-month old son, preliminary hearing set

A Jan. 15, 2020 preliminary hearing has been set for a La Mesa couple who are charged with killing their 7-month-old son.

Both Joel Dwayne Brownell, 28, and Jalana Robin Rodriguez, 30, waived their right to have a speedy preliminary hearing in El Cajon Superior Court.

El Cajon Police responded to a call Aug. 17 at 10:52 a.m. from Rady Children’s Hospital regarding the infant who had been transported there from a health center in El Cajon.

El Cajon Police determined the baby’s injuries occurred in the couple’s home in the 6900 block of Rolando Knolls Drive in La Mesa so La Mesa Police officials took over the investigation.

The infant had shortness of breath and other life-threatening injuries. The infant died two days later.

The parents were arrested Aug. 18 and they have pleaded not guilty to murder. Bail was set at $2 million for each parent and they remain in jail.

Man pleads not guilty to stabbing

Christian Gomez Lopez, 27, pleaded not guilty Sept. 17 to the 2016 fatal stabbing of Jeffrey Quirino, 17, in Spring Valley.

Lopez was in jail on a burglary case when he was charged with murder on Sept. 16. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 1 in El Cajon Superior Court.

Quirino was stabbed May 23, 2016 at 4:31 p.m. in the 8900 block of Spring Valley during a fight. Quirino was taken to a hospital by a passing motorist, but he did not survive.

The facts of the case have not been discussed in court. The East County Gang Task Force was investigating the slaying.

Teen to stand trial for robbery spree

Ernesto Lamarquez, 18, of Spring Valley, will stand trial Nov. 18 on nine counts of robbery during a spree with three other teenagers.

Lamarquez is the only adult and was held to answer on the charges in a July 15 preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior Court. The cases of the three other boys who are 15, 16 and 17 years old are in Juvenile Court.

The victims were held up from April 17 to April 24 in North Park, Chula Vista, National City and City Heights.

Jason Ries testified he was walking in North Park on April 23 at 12:26 a.m. when he felt “someone put something to my head.”

“I was looking down at my phone at the time,” said Ries, who said he was stunned to discover he was being robbed by four people at gunpoint.

Paul Valencia testified he was trying to sell an amp on a website. He said a young man showed up at his Chula Vista home at 9:45 p.m. and asked him to follow him to his vehicle where he had money.

Valencia testified he then saw two people with guns and someone “hit me over the head with the gun.” He was robbed and later had to get three staples in head to close a wound.

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