National City

A transient was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in connection with two slayings that occurred 11 days apart.

Thomas Jon Kemp, 25, is charged with the Nov. 28 stabbing of Geralie (Jane) Bertrand, 34, of National City, who was fatally wounded in front of her two children and mother following a violent argument with Kemp.

Kemp is also accused of the Nov. 17 slaying of Chester (Earl) Grandison, 38, of Hillcrest, whose nude body was found the next morning by his roommate. He had been stabbed 18 times.

San Diego Municipal Judge Frank Brown set a March 21 arraignment and trial setting appearance for Kemp following the conclusion of the 2 1/2-day preliminary hearing.


Kemp remains in County Jail in lieu of $800,000 bail.

Bertrand’s two daughters, ages 12 and 13, and her mother testified Friday that they saw Kemp lunge at Bertrand and she fell to the floor, mortally wounded. However, none of the witnesses said they saw a knife in Kemp’s hand.

They said Kemp was angry because Bertrand had loaned his radio to someone. Bertrand called police, and was stabbed after she told Kemp the police had been called, said the witnesses.

A police technician testified that bloody footprints found in Grandison’s bathroom matched Kemp’s footprints.


A key to the gate of Grandison’s apartment complex was in Kemp’s pocket when he was arrested, police said.