By Neal Putnam
A judge dismissed burglary charges against two adult suspects on Oct. 3, but he also ordered them to stand trial on receiving stolen property charges involving the “hot prowl” burglary series in Ramona.
El Cajon Superior Court Judge William McGrath said he dismissed the burglary counts against Skylor Rocky McGee, 19, and Garrett Paul Jackson, 18, because they didn’t enter people’s homes themselves.
According to testimony, McGee and Jackson either acted as a driver or a helper for juvenile suspects who actually entered people’s homes at night and took wallets, cellphones, and other items while the residents were sleeping.
McGee will go on trial Nov. 19 on a single count of receiving stolen property. Jackson’s trial is set for Dec. 10. Both pleaded not guilty after their separate preliminary hearings before the same judge.
Jackson was also ordered to stand trial for using someone else’s credit card to buy gasoline from Stars Gas Station, as well as receiving stolen property, heroin possession, and possession of Valium without a prescription.
McGee is free on his own recognizance, and Jackson remains free on $50,000 bond. Deputy District Attorney Shanish Aloor said after the hearing that no decision has been made yet as to whether his office would refile the burglary charges against both Ramona men.
During both hearings, the first names of two juvenile suspects were referred to as Austin and Kurt and they have apparently been charged in Juvenile Court in San Diego. Their names are not public record and the status of their cases could not be confirmed.
Michele Linley, the chief of the juvenile division of the DA’s office, said Friday she cannot disclose anything about it because juvenile proceedings are “confidential by nature.” She said the emphasis is on rehabilitation and not punishment.
“Under the law, I can’t disclose whether there is a case pending,” said Linley. “I can’t confirm or deny there is a case.”
Linley also said she cannot confirm or deny the number of juveniles who may be prosecuted for the Ramona burglaries.
In general, Linley said juvenile offenders often are considered wards of the court and frequently are given probation with custody in juvenile camps or facilities.
Linley said the issues in Juvenile Court revolve around “what’s going on in that minor’s life.”
Randolph Raines testified he woke up at 4:15 a.m. on June 20 and noticed his pants “weren’t where I left them.” He found his pants in the entry way of his home and his wallet was missing from a pocket.
Raines said he realized “something was drastically wrong.” He said his wife’s wallet was missing along with two cameras, a flashlight, cash, identification, and a 3-inch knife.
Raines told McGrath he discovered the burglar had entered through a bay window that was open, and the security screen was bent. He said the wallets and cellphone were found in some bushes about a block away.
Sheriff’s Detective Thomas Seiver said Raines’ credit cards were used at Stars Gas Station, a Circle K store, and a taco shop in Ramona just hours later. He said security cameras showed two men filling two gas cans without a vehicle.