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Court date set for Canyon Country trio charged with Halloween murder

Posted: September 14, 2012 1:14 p.m.
Updated: September 14, 2012 1:14 p.m.

Three men standing trial on charges of murder in the shooting death of a Canyon Country man will appear in October for a pretrial hearing, nearly a year after the slaying occurred on Halloween 2011, according to officials.

Diamonte Jerome McGhee, 18, Eric Michael Edwards, 18, and Branden Travaughn Higgs, who turned 18 last month in jail, are scheduled to appear in court Oct. 11, with the earliest an actual trial could begin about four weeks from that date, said Brad Lieberman, deputy district attorney.

“The case could go within 30 calendar days of Oct. 11, at the earliest, but that’s unlikely,” Lieberman said. “The case will likely go through some more pretrial preparatory stages.”

The three were ordered in July to stand trial for the death of Alejandro Sanchez Torrez.

Torrez was with his 7-year-old son at a Canyon Country strip mall when he tried to come to the aid of a man who was allegedly being robbed by the suspects while arranging to sell them a Nintendo DS game system.

One of the alleged robbers, identified by prosecutors as McGhee, opened fire on both Torrez and the robbery victim. Torrez was killed; the alleged robbery victim, identified by prosecutors as Ricardo Sandoval of Newhall, was shot in the leg and survived.




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