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Parents Tell of Hubbard’s Upbringing : Crime: Father of policeman accused of attempted murder and attempted robbery, and the prime suspect in six other attacks that include rape and robbery, says, ‘These false accusations will be proven false.’

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It was a private moment between a mother and son played out in the most public of places.

Henry Hubbard Jr. sat behind a glass partition reserved for prisoners in a downtown San Diego courtroom this week, his third court appearance since being arrested on charges of attempted murder and attempted robbery.

His mother, Anne, and father, Henry Hubbard Sr., from Lancaster, S.C., sat several rows back in the courtroom. When their son walked into court, it was the first time they had seen him in 10 months. They studied their son closely.

Hubbard glanced at his mother.

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“He mouthed the words, ‘I love you,’ and I mouthed the words back,” Anne Hubbard said. “I just wanted to run up and grab him and just hold him. He’s still my first child.”

Still in shock over allegations that Hubbard shot two young men on a San Diego beach while attempting to rob them and over the fact that he has been named the prime suspect in six other attacks that include rape and robbery, Anne and Henry Hubbard say they refuse to believe any of it.

“We have three boys, and we’ve never had any trouble out of any of them,” Henry said. “We were constantly talking to each other about how happy we were that we never had any trouble out of any of our boys.”

Their oldest, “Junior,” now 29, never had problems beyond the small uprisings of youth, they said. It was bound to be that way in a household where his father was a schoolteacher and principal. He is now entrusted with deciding whether students be expelled from the Lancaster school district.

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All three boys, Henry, Jerod and Morris, had rules to follow. They had to study hard. They had to play sports, which their parents figured would keep them out of trouble. Upon entering junior high school, they had their choice of only two sports. All three picked basketball and baseball, to the chagrin of their father, who loved to play football.

The Hubbard boys all secured scholarships to Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. But only Henry was drafted to play professional baseball, which he did for three years before being released because of a knee injury.

The injury disappointed him, but Henry went on to become a San Diego police officer. He rarely spoke about his job, his father said, and seemed more excited about getting his commercial pilot’s license.

Every Sunday, almost without fail, he called his parents to chat. About his wife, Karen. About his 2-year-old daughter, Samantha. About flying.

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“We always looked forward to Sundays,” Henry Sr. said. “He would either call, or we would call him.”

But, if there were any troubles in his life, he never discussed them.

“He has my personality,” Anne Hubbard said. “If I don’t want to be bothered with something, I don’t talk about it. I do what I want to do.”

The news from San Diego three weeks ago was so utterly stunning that Anne Hubbard thought someone was playing a joke. Henry had been charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of attempted robbery, stemming from an Aug. 15 incident at Torrey Pines State Beach.

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During the day’s early morning hours, a man sitting in a lifeguard tower with a stocking drawn over his head and a pistol in his hand watched as 21-year-old Charisma Carpenter, a former Chargers cheerleader, emerged from the ocean.

According to police, Carpenter screamed, and two male companions ran to her aid. The assailant held a gun on all three and asked that they begin binding each other’s hands. But one of the men, 23-year-old Arthur Gracia, charged the gunman and, during the scuffle, Gracia and Aldo Ochoa, 21, were shot.

An hour later, accompanied by his wife, Hubbard checked into UC San Diego Medical Center with a gunshot wound in his hand. Hubbard told police that he had been attacked by three men after his car broke down on his way home from work.

In recent weeks, his attorneys have suggested that the attack may have been part of a conspiracy by fellow police officers who were angered by his testimony during a court trial last year.

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So far in court, the prosecutor has outlined some of the evidence that will be brought out at trial.

Hubbard’s flashlight, engraved with his name and police identification number, was found inside a victim’s Jeep. Police recovered a bullet from a victim’s body and shell casings at the scene that match the caliber of a handgun registered to Hubbard. The officer’s clothing and hand wound were covered with sand. Enzymes in Hubbard’s blood match blood samples found at the scene. And blood samples taken from Hubbard match those of one of the victims.

Attorneys for Hubbard say his flashlight and gun were stolen, that he was covered with dirt, not sand, and that the blood samples are far from conclusive.

Anne and Henry Hubbard say their son is biding his time by studying the Bible and is steadfast about his innocence.

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“We are a Christian family,” Henry Sr. said. “We believe God will work through these (defense) attorneys. These false accusations will be proven false.”


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