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Robbery Suspects Linked to Holdups

Two young men arrested on suspicion of committing three armed robberies in Escondido and Vista pleaded not guilty Thursday, and the prosecutor said they may be linked to other unsolved hold-ups.

Jonathan Arrington, who turns 19 today, and Hubert DeWayne Phillips, 19, are charged with robbing a cabdriver in Vista in the early morning of August 28 and auto theft. Arrington has been a Tuskegee University student, and Phillips was on the University of New Mexico’s football roster last season.

They are also accused of holding up a motel and doughnut shop on the same street in Escondido about 3 a.m. that morning, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Bob Phillips, who is no relation to the defendant.

Bob Phillips told San Diego Municipal Judge Patricia Cowett that the defendants might have had a “suicide pact,” because another teen-ager, Cahill Muhammad, 17, apparently shot himself to death after a police chase.

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Prosecutor Phillips said investigators are still probing the shooting of Muhammad, who was found shot in the head in the back seat of the car police had chased for 50 miles.

Phillips requested bail at $100,000, telling the judge the pair could face more robbery charges later if evidence turns up linking them to other holdups.

A deputy public defender suggested bail of $50,000.

Cowett set bail at $100,000 and ordered a bail review for Tuesday. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 12.

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