The trial for the “Halloween Trio”, three teens accused of fatally shooting a man in an alleged robbery in 2011, has been set for next week, officials said Thursday.
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The trial date is set for Sept. 3 for Diamonte Jerome McGhee, 20, Branden Trevaughn Higgis, 20, and Eric Michael Edwards, 20, who were arrested under the age of 18 on five felony counts of murder, attempted murder, murder with special circumstances, conspiracy to commit a crime and second degree robbery.
The three suspects allegedly met with Alex Sanchez and Ricardo Sandoval on Oct. 21, 2011 to purchase a game system.
The exact circumstances of the robbery is unknown, but there was reportedly a dispute.
McGhee produced a handgun and shot Sanchez in the chest and when Sandoval attempted to run away, McGhee shot him in the leg, according to a criminal complaint.
All three defendants are facing five felony counts of murder, attempted murder, murder with special circumstances, conspiracy to commit a crime and second degree robbery.
Edwards has been in custody since April 30, 2012, for the crime, Higgis has been in custody since Aug. 27, 2012, and McGhee has been in custody since Jan. 27, 2012.
While the murder charge comes with a possibility of the death penalty, District Attorney spokesperson Jane Robison said that the court will not seek the death penalty for anyone under the age of 18, even though they are being tried as adults.
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“With the special circumstances, they could go away for life,” she explained.
The more serious charges are leveled at McGhee, for using the gun. He is facing 25 years to life without parole. If convicted, all three face incarceration in state prison.
All three are being charged as adults, and being held without bail in Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.
A memorial fund was established to help the victims.
Perry Smith contributed to this report.
Source: Santa Clarita News