A Loma Linda man accused of fatally shooting his younger brother after showing up unannounced at the victim’s San Diego home earlier this year must stand trial on murder and gun charges, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Following a preliminary hearing, Judge Joan Weber also found that the killing was premeditated and that there was enough evidence to proceed with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait against Jason Douglas Paris, 44, who is charged in the Jan. 17 death of Cedric O’Neal Paris.
The 42-year-old victim’s wife testified that her husband had a strained relationship with the defendant.
Janeth Paris said her brother-in-law had stayed with her and her husband over the years, but they hadn’t seen him in about two years. She testified that the defendant had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that she didn’t feel safe with him in her Grantville home, where she said he had been only once before.
The victim’s wife said she was watching TV about 9 p.m. last Jan. 17 when someone rang the doorbell and knocked. When her husband looked outside, he told his wife, “It’s Jason,” she testified.
Janeth Paris testified that she went to the bedroom to get dressed, and her husband let the defendant in the house.
She said her husband told the defendant that she was sleeping and asked if he should wake her, and he said, “No, leave her there.”
She said the two men went outside and she heard several popping noises and someone saying “no no,” leading her to think that her brother-in-law had killed himself in front of her husband.
Janeth Paris testified that when she went outside, she found her husband mortally wounded and her brother-in-law slowly driving away in his red SUV.
Cedric Paris was pronounced dead at the scene. He had suffered four gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach, according to court testimony.
About 15 minutes later, the defendant was pulled over on Scripps Poway Parkway off northbound Interstate 15 and taken into custody without incident. A .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun was on the front seat of his SUV and he had three loaded magazines of ammunition on him, said San Diego police Officer Kenneth Davis.
Sgt. Brian Avera testified that a woman who rented a room to the defendant in Loma Linda said the defendant told her that he would be out of town the weekend of the murder “to take care of some business.”
San Diego police homicide Detective Jana Beard said the defendant told her that his relationship with his younger brother had always been strained and that he had made several attempts to contact the victim in the weeks leading up to the murder.
Jason Paris felt ignored and “wasn’t happy about it,” the detective testified.
Beard said the defendant told her that he had purchased a gun in San Bernardino a few months before the murder.
“I asked him if he purchased the gun to kill his brother and he said yes,” the detective testified.
Beard said the defendant told her that he had asked his brother to step outside of his home so he could show him something, then got the gun from his car and shot the victim.
The defendant said he felt alienated from his family and that his younger brother had control over him, the detective said. He also said the killing was “necessary” and that he knew there would be consequences, Beard testified.
She said the defendant told her that he had practiced shooting the gun at a shooting range, the last time just days before the murder.
The defendant said his family hated him, that he heard voices and that his younger brother was a demonic power, according to the detective.
“He said he felt he had to do something or his mortal soul would be damned,” Beard testified.
Jason Paris said he had not been taking his prescription medication for mental illness for some time, according to the detective.
Weber ruled that the defendant lured the victim out of his home late at night and pulled off a surprise attack from a position of advantage.
The defendant will be back in court June 1 for arraignment.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: