San Marcos

A new trial date of Jan. 16 has been set for a San Diego man charged with killing two men in San Marcos in 1986.

The new trial of Michael Smith, 29, stems from a hung jury Tuesday. The jury couldn’t decide between first- or second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.

The same Superior Court jury convicted co-defendant Keith Lugo, 25, formerly of Escondido, of two counts of first-degree murder.

The case involves the execution-style slayings of Robert Pharoah III, 27, of Spring Valley, and Timothy Ridgewell, 24, of La Mesa, whose bullet-riddled bodies were found on a gravel road in San Marcos on July 9, 1986.


Deputy Dist. Atty. Craig Rooten said the murders occurred after the two men were falsely accused of being narcotics informants.

Lugo could be sentenced to a maximum 51 years to life. His sentencing is set for Jan. 8.

While Smith waits for a new trial, he will remain in jail. He is serving a 20-year prison sentence for manslaughter and auto theft in the death of a young woman in another state a year after the East County men were killed.