Three men face charges from 2000 killing

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A former El Cajon man was ordered Nov. 14 to stand trial for murder in the beating death of a 71-year-old man during a robbery in which the victim was beaten with a baseball bat.

A criminalist with the San Diego Police crime lab testified the DNA of Edward Jamar Brooks, now 28, was found in the empty pants pocket of LeRay “Mac” Parkins where Parkins’ wallet was taken in a 2000 robbery.

A former El Cajon man was ordered Nov. 14 to stand trial for murder in the beating death of a 71-year-old man during a robbery in which the victim was beaten with a baseball bat.

A criminalist with the San Diego Police crime lab testified the DNA of Edward Jamar Brooks, now 28, was found in the empty pants pocket of LeRay “Mac” Parkins where Parkins’ wallet was taken in a 2000 robbery.

The DNA match for Brooks was discovered this year even though the homicide occurred on Aug. 23, 2000, in North Park, testified Tamira Ballard in Brooks’ preliminary hearing. Brooks was arrested in North Carolina in May.

The DNA match also led to the arrests of two former Spring Valley men, Terrence Maurice Brown, 37, and Lester Roshunn Bell, 38. Brown has pleaded guilty to robbery of Parkins and Bell has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Deputy District Attorney David Bost said Bell faces up to 11 years in prison and Brown could get five years in prison. Murder charges against them have been dismissed after their guilty pleas to lesser charges.

Brooks was also ordered to stand trial on a special circumstance charge alleging he killed Parkins during a robbery. If he is convicted, he faces a life term without parole in prison, said Bost.

When San Diego Police detective Jovanna Derrough asked Brooks in May about the murder, he told her he could not recall anything about it until he spontaneously said, “Oh, the bat,” without her mentioning the weapon.

Brooks then described the victim as “the old white dude,” and added it occurred “down an alley in North Park.”

Brooks denied wielding the bat, and said his two friends must have struck Parkins with it. When the detective asked about the victims’ pants pockets that were left turned inside out, she quoted him as saying, “That’s protocol. When you rough up someone, you go through their pockets.”

Retired detective Valle testified Parkins’ credit card was used to buy clothing for all three men for $223. Valle said an employee of a clothing store told him Bell asked her if he could use someone else’s credit card to buy clothing before they all three came into the store.

Valle said Bell and Brown both told police that Brooks assaulted someone and took his credit card.

Dr. Christopher Swalwell, a retired deputy medical examiner, testified Parkins was struck twice in the head with an object like a baseball bat and received a skull fracture. Parkins died three days later without regaining consciousness.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Fred Link ordered Brooks to return to court on Nov. 29 to set a trial date. Brooks has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail. Bell and Brown will be sentenced after Brooks’ case has concluded, said Bost.

Man ordered to stand trial for stabbing

Antonio Jesus Muro, 29, has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the stabbing death of David Twofeathers Durbin outside a 7-Eleven store in El Cajon.

Six witnesses testified in an all-day preliminary hearing by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Jeff Fraser, who ordered Muro to stand trial on Dec. 17.

Muro pleaded not guilty and remains in jail on $2 million bail.

Durbin, 25, was stabbed July 28 in the heart around 2 p.m. outside the store in the 700 block of Jamacha Road. A motive is not yet known.

Muro was arrested by El Cajon Police detective Tabitha Latinette at 7:54 p.m. about 30 hours later in the 9900 block of Buena Vista Drive in Spring Valley.

Deputy District Attorney Clayton Carr said if Muro is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces 26 years to life in prison plus two more years for having two previous convictions.

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