3 Plead Not Guilty in Death of Sheriff's Dept. Trainee

Three Southeast San Diego men charged with the fatal shooting of a San Diego County Sheriff's Department trainee Jan. 13 pleaded not guilty Monday to murder, auto theft and robbery charges.

Superior Court Judge Richard Huffmen scheduled a July 15 trial date for Jesse Lee Stuart, 19; Ronnie Williams, 20, and Prentice Byrd, 19, who are charged in the death of Kelly Ann Bazer, 28.

Bazer was shot just after she got out of her car in front of her brother-in-law's Spring Valley home by one of two men fleeing from a robbery at a Safeway store on Sweetwater Springs Road.

Witnesses at last month's preliminary hearing said the unarmed Bazer, who had started classes at the sheriff's academy 10 days earlier, was shot after refusing to give the men her car keys.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Keith Burt said special circumstance allegations were not filed against Stuart, the alleged triggerman, because the story of a jailed police informant who claimed to overhear Stuart admit to the shooting couldn't be corroborated.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World