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Second Irvine Slaying Suspect Identified : Crime: The paroled felon has a history of violence. Police say he is a friend of a previously named parolee who once worked for businessman shot in his driveway.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police have issued an arrest warrant for a second man in connection with the fatal midday shooting of an Irvine businessman outside his Woodbridge townhome last month.

Jerome Jones, 25, a paroled felon from Carson, is suspected in the killing of 30-year-old Gregory Hebdon, who was pistol-whipped, shot in the head and chest, and left dying under his Toyota Landcruiser next to his home March 31.

Irvine Lt. Sam Allevato said Jones and Ramon Marion Patterson, 25, the other suspect in the slaying, are friends.

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“We have another warrant now at least,” Allevato said. “We have two chances now that a police officer will come across these folks and be able to match them up. It’s going to take some further follow-up to find them.”

The slaying of Hebdon, on his ninth wedding anniversary, shocked the quiet Woodbridge neighborhood, where well-kept homes start at $250,000. Neighbors heard Hebdon screaming “No!” before shots rang out, and witnesses said they saw two men beat him with their guns and try to force him into the trunk of a cream-colored Lexus before he was killed.

Witnesses said that one of Hebdon’s wrists appeared to be handcuffed, possibly to a briefcase, when he was shot.

Patterson, also a paroled felon who temporarily worked for Hebdon’s family business, is a suspected gang member, but Allevato said that is unclear.

State parole authorities said they were alerted on April 7 that Jones was a suspect in Hebdon’s slaying. Allevato said Jones’ arrest warrant was issued several days ago, but police waited until he had been identified by witnesses in a photo lineup before releasing his name.

“We’re following up leads as they come in,” he said. “We have a lot of areas to cover still.”

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Allevato said that although police have several theories about a motive, they “don’t have a real good fix on that.”

Jones has a history of violence, including a felony conviction for carjacking and shooting a Gardena man, and twice violating his parole, once for a gunpoint robbery, state parole administrator Hugh Nelson said.

He served three years of a seven-year prison sentence before being paroled in June, 1991.

In the 1987 carjacking, Nelson said, Jones “approached a driver seated in his vehicle in a market parking lot with a weapon and told him to get out of the car. As the person was exiting, he shot him.”

Nelson said Jones was arrested again in February, 1992, on a parole violation, for having access to a firearm. He was inadvertently released from jail by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and was rearrested two months later.

At that time, he was again charged with a probation violation for robbing a produce truck at gunpoint in the Lynwood area, Nelson said. Jones was given a maximum 12-month sentence for the parole violation and was last released from Mule Creek State Prison in Ione in April, 1993.

“There were no noted incidents until he became a suspect in the Irvine robbery,” Nelson said. Parole officers “went looking for him and were unable to locate him.”

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Hebdon and his wife, Lillian, co-owned Servpro of Irvine, which restores homes and businesses damaged by fire or water. Lillian Hebdon said her husband was considering returning to school for a medical degree when he was killed.

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