Man convicted of murdering his parents and ex-girlfriend loses appeal
Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A state appellate court panel today rejected an appeal from a Los Angeles man who was convicted of murdering his parents and the mother of his child.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal turned down the defense’s claim that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bob S. Bowers Jr. had erred in revoking Joshua Vick’s right to act as his own attorney.
Vick was convicted in a non-jury trial in May 2011 of first-degree murder for the Jan. 14, 2005, shooting deaths of his parents, Mary and Gable, and the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Tesha Collins, a day later.
The murder charges included the special circumstance allegations that Collins was murdered during the commission of a kidnapping and that there were multiple murders.
Vick also was found guilty of one count each of robbery and attempted robbery involving separate victims and three counts of criminal threats involving Collins and two of her friends.
In a 17-page ruling, the appellate court panel also rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support two of the criminal threats charges.
The panel noted that Vick only spoke with one of Collins’ friends, but that he “clearly intended his threat to kill all three of the women” unless he got his keys back to be communicated to all three of them.
Vick’s trial attorney, Marc Lewinstein, called the case “a tragedy,” and said Vick had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
“He thought his parents were trying to poison him,” Vick’s attorney said at his client’s May 2011 sentencing. “He doesn’t understand that he’s sick.”
The District Attorney’s Office had initially sought a death sentence against Vick, but decided before trial against seeking it.
Vick killed his parents in their apartment in the 700 block of West Imperial Highway, shooting his 52-year-old mother twice and his 54-year-old father once.
Collins, a 29-year-old mother of four who had a child with the defendant, was kidnapped the following day from Hooper Early Education Center on East 52nd Street, where she worked as a teacher’s aide.
Vick was wounded the next day by police, who spotted him in a car in South Los Angeles. Collins, who had been shot with the same weapon used to kill Vick’s parents, was found dead nearby.
Vick had been arrested a few weeks before the slayings for violating probation in an assault case. He was freed after three days as part of an effort to reduce the county’s jail population.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A grand jury indictment unsealed today charges a man with murdering two women and one man and injuring two other people during a shooting spree last October at a business and a home in Downey.
Jade Douglas Harris, 30, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court to 10 felony counts, including three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, four counts of kidnapping for carjacking and one count of being a felon with a firearm.
COMPTON, Calif. — Authorities arrested a man who allegedly tried today to kidnap a woman in Carson and then led deputies on a chase to the Athens Village area, where his car crashed into an SUV at an intersection and burst into flames.
Lawrence Dickerson, 36, was arrested following the crash, which occurred near Avalon Boulevard and 135th Street about 6:30 a.m., according to the sheriff’s department.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A 60-year-old woman was ordered today to stand trial for the shooting death of her 79-year-old aunt, who was the mother of a Los Angeles Police Department training officer.
Barbara Jean Davenport is charged with murder and robbery in connection with the June 2, 2012, slaying of Cleo Hughes.
The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation that Hughes was killed during a robbery or attempted robbery.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A state appeals court panel today ordered a new sentencing hearing for a gang member convicted of killing a 16-year-old honor student after opening fire on a crowd of people following a homecoming football game in Long Beach.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal sent the case against Tom Love Vinson back to Long Beach Superior Court Judge Mark Kim for re-sentencing.
LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Police are on an “intense” and “extremely focused” nationwide manhunt for the occupants of a black Range Rover at the center of a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that claimed three lives.
The incident involved a Maserati that was shot at and subsequently crashed into a taxi, which caught fire.
The driver of the Maserati, whom family identified as Kenneth Cherry Jr., died at a hospital. The taxi driver and a passenger also died.