Suspect in attacks on homeless men in San Diego has history of arrests and mental issues

San Diego police said the man arrested in connection with a string of attacks on homeless men has a history of arrests and possible mental problems.

San Diego police arrested Jon David Guerrero, 39, on Friday. Guerrero faces three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of arson.

Public records show an extensive history of criminal cases in San Diego, dating from 1999 to 2009, and several mental health cases filed in 2008, 2009 and 2011.


Guerrero was arrested in 2007 and pleaded guilty the next year to charges of burglary, grand theft and possession of marijuana and narcotics paraphernalia. His mother, Kathleen Guerrero, wrote a number of letters to the court on her son’s behalf, seeking psychiatric treatment for him in jail.

She explained why he didn’t do well on probation, saying he had trouble following directions or keeping track of time and appointments. In one letter, she pointed to “David’s lack of hearing and speaking ability. In the past a symptom of his illness has been to insert foreign objects into his body orifices and I am concerned that this may be the case again.”

He was arrested again in 2009 and pleaded guilty to robbery for repeatedly knocking down a homeless woman and stealing her bicycle. Again placed on probation, he violated the conditions and was ruled not mentally competent. He spent time at Patton State Hospital. His attorney, arguing for a lesser sentence, wrote that Guerrero “begins to hear ‘good’ and ‘bad’ voices” when his medication wears off, but that with the appropriate medication, he “can lead a normal, productive and crime free life.”

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In earlier cases from 1999 to 2001, Guerrero was convicted of burglary, grand theft and possession of stolen goods.

A Facebook page for a Jon Guerrero shows he went to Coronado High School and worked as a caregiver for a time. One posting said he was from Cuernavaca, Mexico. Other postings are rambling, including one 2015 statement that said, “There something to do with the stars in the sky and the gate way to your soul. I think it’s the cotten I was wearing. . Well Vicky it’s hood to know there’s still some love in me or innocents s .. but I can really see the mix of my mom & dad in me what was God thinking?”

Repard writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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