Spring Valley

A Spring Valley man already charged with killing a former Los Angeles Rams football player during an attempted robbery in La Mesa was charged Thursday with a second murder.

George Ray Cunnington, 27, pleaded not guilty to the new charge of killing Robert Hetmer, 51, of Spring Valley several hours before the Nov. 18 slaying of Rey Nicholas Phillinganes, 23.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Steve Robinson told the court that his office is considering filing special-circumstances allegations, which could lead to the death penalty for Cunnington if he is convicted. The grounds for the special circumstances would be that multiple victims were killed and that the Phillinganes slaying occurred during an attempted robbery.

San Diego Municipal Judge Charles Patrick ordered bail to remain at $1 million. A preliminary hearing was set for March 31.


Robinson said Cunnington had lived with Hetmer for several weeks before the shooting. He said the house was ransacked.

Phillinganes was in his car when a gunman approached him, tapped on the window with the gun and then shot him in the chest.