A 19-year-old gang member accused of shooting a taxi driver to death in Lemon Grove must stand trial for murder, a judge ruled today.
After a daylong preliminary hearing at the El Cajon courthouse, Superior Court Judge Herbert Exarhos found that enough evidence was presented for Demetrius Sissac to stand trial for the Oct. 30 death of Jalaludin Hamrah, a 39- year-old immigrant from Afghanistan. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Feb. 21.
Besides murder, Sissac is charged with a special circumstance allegation of killing a cab driver in the course of his duties. Sissac faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
The defendant was on probation for auto theft at the time of the killing, prosecutors said. A motive for the killing was not clear.
According to the prosecution, Hamrah gave a ride to Sissac in the early morning hours of Oct. 30, and at the end of the ride, Sissac shot and killed Hamrah.
Hamrah was found dead in his cab, which crashed in the 3400 block of Main Street. Paramedics discovered a bullet wound in his upper body when they pulled him from the wreckage.
Sissac was arrested the night of Nov. 2.
—City News Service