Suspect charged with killing twins; fatal conflict in Lakeside


Special circumstance allegations of multiple murders were filed May 4 against a man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend’s twin teen daughters in Lemon Grove.

If convicted, Dwayne Edward Groves, Jr., 38, could be sentenced to death if the District Attorney decides to seek the death penalty.

Caira and Leah Christopher, both 15 years old, were shot to death April 15 inside a home in the 7400 block of Central Avenue in Lemon Grove.

Groves pleaded not guilty May 4 from a room in jail as seen on video before El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador. Groves wore a green jail uniform and was wearing a face mask, as was the judge.

Deputy District Attorney Meredith Pro and Groves’ attorney appeared on video feeds from other locations.

Amador ordered Groves to remain in jail without bail as requested by Pro.

Groves was also accused of attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend, Joan Hoyt, 40, the mother of the girls. He is also accused of felony assault of Gary Goode, 22, who was pistol whipped in the same incident.

“Mr. Goode was able to escape from the residence,” said Pro to the judge.

“Miss Hoyt saw her two 15-year-old daughters shot,” said Pro. “She scooped up her 1-year-old and 4-year-old and also fled from the residence.”

Hoyt told KGTV (Channel 10) she had separated from Groves “about a week and half ago” before the incident.

Groves is also charged with two counts of child endangerment.

A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 24. A status conference was set for Aug. 24.

The teens were buried April 30 in El Cajon. A GoFundMe page was set up so a headstone could be purchased along with other funeral expenses.


Julia Gonzalez, 23, will be arraigned May 29 on a murder charge involving the stabbing death of her neighbor in Lakeside on May 8.

The victim’s name was not released at press time after the 6 p.m. incident in the 8200 block of Jema Way in Lakeside.

Sheriff’s detectives announced the name of the suspect after interviewing multiple people involved  in an altercation between neighbors. They said “no suspects are believed to be outstanding” in a news release.

Lakeside Fire Department personnel arrived and began treating the neighbor who had traumatic injuries. He was transported to a hospital where he died.

Gonzalez remains in the Las Colinas Women’s Detention & Re-Entry Facility without bail.

Suspect charged with killing twins; fatal conflict in Lakeside