California, USA – One Chaldean family hopes to find closure after murder suspect is arrested for killing their son. Jeremy Allen Wessels, 32, is charged with the shooting death of David Binno, 24, in Binno's Spring Valley apartment in September 1994. The apartment theft of gold jewelry and murder may lead to the death penalty.
Two men accused of murdering their Chaldean friend in 1994 joked beforehand of killing him “for the heck of it,” a former girlfriend testified yesterday.
El Cajon Superior Court Judge Herbert J. Exarhos ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Wessels with the special-circumstance allegation that Binno was gunned down during a burglary.
Weasels is accused of the killing and is only now standing trial on a murder charge that could lead to the death penalty, the judge ruled Tuesday. Wessels is being held in jail in lieu of $2 million bail pending a Nov. 19 hearing to set a trial date.
Prosecutors have declined to say why the murder investigation took so long. A former girlfriend, Monica Cervantes went to authorities with information about Binno's death in 1996.
Cervantes testified that on Sept. 16, 1994, the day Binno was killed, she was visiting a friend in Chula Vista. She said Wessels arrived in the early evening and his accomplice handed her a bag containing a gold necklace and bracelet that belonged to Binno.
“He said it was David's gold,” Cervantes testified. “He said he had just killed David.”
A few days after the slaying, Cervantes said they told her details of how he and Wessels killed Binno. She said Wessels went to Binno's Spring Valley apartment and once inside, Wessels began wrestling with Binno. Cervantes said she didn't know the motive for the slaying.
Questioned by defense lawyer Timothy Richardson, Cervantes said she didn't tell police what she knew until two years after Binno was killed and she had broken up.
Cervantes said her relationship had been marked by violence. She said he beat her, verbally abused her and at one point threatened to kill her by firing a gun in front of her face as they rode in his truck after she threatened to leave him.
Wessels wasn’t arrested in connection with Binno's death until September, though Cervantes first told police in 1996 that they had admitted to her that they had killed him.
Deputy District Attorney Brock Arstill declined to say why it took so long to make an arrest because he said the investigation is ongoing.