Victim claims he was tortored, robbed by former friend

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Two East County men were ordered Aug. 2 to stand trial for the kidnapping and torture of a man who was injured near Lemon Grove and was hospitalized for a week.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Birkmeyer heard three days of testimony in a preliminary hearing of Derrick Jefferson Spurgeon, 38, of El Cajon and Kenneth John Schutt, 34, of Lakeside.

“He’s very believable,” said Birkmeyer of the victim. “I found him to be precise.”

Two East County men were ordered Aug. 2 to stand trial for the kidnapping and torture of a man who was injured near Lemon Grove and was hospitalized for a week.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Birkmeyer heard three days of testimony in a preliminary hearing of Derrick Jefferson Spurgeon, 38, of El Cajon and Kenneth John Schutt, 34, of Lakeside.

“He’s very believable,” said Birkmeyer of the victim. “I found him to be precise.”

(Spurgeon’s name has surfaced in an unrelated case in which he is accused of piloting a boat for a friend who allegedly disposed of his roommate’s body in a 55-gallon barrel which was found in San Diego Bay.)

The man in the kidnapping case, who is not being identified because of threats to his safety, testified he was beaten in the face with the butt of a gun on June 4, 2017, and suffered facial fractures.

The judge said the victim was told an “exposed electrical wire” would be pushed into his mouth and was ordered to disrobe at gunpoint inside his former residence.

The victim was able to escape outside where he hid in a neighbor’s shed. The men were also ordered to stand trial for extortion, two assault counts, burglary, and robbery.

The victim testified that the men stole his television, tools, keys to his van, and all of his personal items including his underwear while he was in the hospital recovering from injuries.

“They cleaned him out,” said Deputy District Attorney Sophia Roach.

“I gave up my whole business because of this situation,” said the victim, who acknowledged that he requested the case not go forward because he might “get hurt, get killed” as part of “retaliation.”

The man acknowledged that he considered Schutt a best friend in the past time and he had been friendly with Spurgeon in the past.

Birkmeyer also ordered the men to stand trial on allegations the crimes were committed to benefit the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. However, neither Spurgeon or Schutt are current members, according to testimony.

Schutt was also ordered to stand trial for attempt to make a criminal threat to the victim.

Attorney Marlea Dell’Anno, who represents Schutt, argued that her client and the victim would “banter back and forth” since they were children.

“He simply had a beef with (victim’s name) over a girl,” said Dell’Anno. “He wasn’t helping Mr. Spurgeon.”

Birkmeyer disagreed, saying the statements to the victim “were more than banter and he took it as a threat.”

Spurgeon and Schutt have pleaded not guilty and will get a trial date set on Aug. 20. They both remain in jail without bail.

Spurgeon has a separate case of accessory to murder in which he piloted a boat for a friend to dispose of his friend’s roommate in a 55-gallon barrel in San Diego Bay in Oct., 2017.

Spurgeon and his friend, Timothy John Cook, 53, were ordered to stand trial on accessory and murder charges respectively on July 25 in Chula Vista Superior Court.

Cook’s roommate, Omar Medina, 28, a music producer, was found stabbed 66 times and his body was inside the floating 55-gallon drum in which a cinder block had been attached.

Spurgeon’s attorney, Roland Haddad, said his client had no knowledge of what was in the barrel.

A tentative trial date of Oct. 1 has been set for Spurgeon and Cook and they have pleaded not guilty.

Burglary suspect pleads not guilty

A La Mesa burglary suspect who fled the scene and hit two other cars will have a preliminary hearing on Aug. 13 in El Cajon Superior Court.

Brandon Albert Loeb, 34, of Chula Vista, has pleaded not guilty to all charges which include evading police, hit and run and possession of methamphetamine in a May 9 incident in the 5700 block of Cowles Mountain Boulevard.

A witness called La Mesa Police, saying a suspect had broken into a neighbor’s apartment and left in a black Honda Fit sedan. Officers followed him all the way to Chula Vista, where he parked at a motel and fled on foot before he was arrested.

Loeb remains free on $30,000 bond.

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