A man went on a rampage in late 2013, fatally shooting a friend who allegedly disrespected his girlfriend, then wounded a man in La Jolla over a drug debt, a prosecutor said Monday.
“Joseph Anthony Hill went on a rampage,” Deputy District Attorney Joe McLaughlin said in his opening statement.
Hill, 45, faces charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
His defense attorney, Stewart Dadmun, however, said the killing was in self-defense and the drug-debt shooting was not done by Hill client.
McLaughlin told a jury that Hill went with his girlfriend to the Linda Vista home of friend Sean O’Toole about 5 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2013, and two began arguing in the backyard.
McLaughlin said Hill pulled a 9mm weapon, prompting the 47-year-old victim to say, “What are you going to do, shoot me?”
Hill fired into the ground, then shot O’Toole in the chest. Both Hill and girlfriend Marla Caniglia fled, the prosecutor said.
About three hours later, Hill kicked in the door of a motel room in La Jolla and shot Travis Bondurant once in the stomach over a $200 drug debt, McLaughlin told the jury.
Bondurant spent five months in a hospital but survived, the prosecutor said.
The next morning, law enforcement officers tracked Hill to a home on Catalina Boulevard in Point Loma, McLaughlin said.
When Hill tried to drive away, officers opened fire and wounding him. A 9mm handgun was found after Hill crashed his vehicle, according to McLaughlin.
Dadmun told the jury that Hill shot O’Toole in self-defense. He said Hill owed O’Toole money and went to talk to him the night of the shooting.
Once at the victim’s home, O’Toole became angry and Hill shot him once to stop him, then fled the scene, Dadmun told the jury.
Dadmun said O’Toole was still walking and talking when he left, so he assumed he was OK. A friend dropped O’Toole at a hospital, where he collapsed and died, according to Dadmun.
Dadmun said his client did not shoot Bondurant and urged jurors to find Hill not guilty.
— City News Service
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