A judge set a March 12 preliminary hearing for James Anthony
Kurtenbach, a Ramona gas station owner who is accused of murder, arson
and insurance fraud in connection with the death of an employee at the
site of an explosion at Kurtenbach's vacant house in Ramona.
Kurtenbach, 47, waived his right to have a speedy hearing before
an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Jan. 13. He has pleaded not guilty
to all charges, including second-degree murder in the Oct. 31 death of
Joseph Nesheiwat, 24, a longtime employee of his.
The prosecution has alleged that Kurtenbach wanted his house
destroyed by fire so he could collect the insurance money from it. He had
owed back taxes on the house, but said at the time he planned to rent the
house. Kurtenbach is from Poway.
His attorney, Earll Pott, has unsuccessfully tried to get his $2
million bail lowered. Kurtenbach remains in the George Bailey Detention
Facility. He owns the Stars service station where Nesheiwat was employed.