4 men face murder charges in San Juan Capistrano jewelry heist
Alan Keith Hunter, 39 of Moreno Valley; George Anthony Boozer, 36 of Apple Valley; James Stephan Paschall, 41, and Eddie Allen Clark Jr., 27, both of Gardena, are each being held in lieu of $1-million bail in connection with the June 24 holdup attempt.
Under California law, when someone dies in the commission of a felony, participants in the crime can be charged with murder.
The attempted robbery began when Robert Avery was allowed into the locked premises of Monaco Jewelers on Doheny Park Road in San Juan Capistrano. Clark allegedly entered with Desmond Brown. Avery grabbed the store manager and pointed the gun at the manager's head and chest. Prosecutors say the store owner then shot Avery and turned the gun on Brown and shot him as the robber was running toward him.
Brown, according to prosecutors, kept moving toward the owner and was shot again. Both Brown and Avery died at the scene as Clark fled.
Hunter and Boozer are accused of being lookouts. They also are accused of fleeing the scene once police began to arrive. Paschall is accused of being the getaway driver.
Orange County Sheriff's Department Special Weapons and Tactics officers surrounded the area, but the men slipped away. A subsequent investigation linked Boozer and Hunter to the robbery attempt through phone records, while Clark and Paschall were tied to the crime using DNA from evidence.
If convicted on all counts, Boozer and Clark face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. But third-strike candidates Hunter and Paschall each have two prior strikes for 1995 and 1996 armed robberies and face a maximum of 25 years to life if convicted.
Photo: Coroner's officials remove the body of one of two robbers killed during a botched holdup at Monaco Jewelers in San Juan Capistrano. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times