MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that four people — three men and a woman — must stand trial on attempted murder charges for beating and abducting an acquaintance in San Jacinto last December.
Authorities said the quartet beat the acquaintance for hours and locked him in the truck of his own car. The man was able to escape and get help.
Officials accuse James Henry Anderson, 53, Anthony Bernard Brown, 35, Jamicia Nate Gravely, 30, and her husband, Reginald Makalea Gravely, 32, of participating in a Dec. 29 attack on the unidentified alleged victim.
All four are charged with attempted murder, torture and kidnapping. Brown is additionally charged with robbery.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Judge Mark Mandio said there was sufficient evidence to bound the defendants over for trial. Judge Mandio set post-preliminary arraignments for Aug. 9.
Mandio kept each defendant’s bail at $1 million. All are being held at the Southwest Detention Center.
According to sheriff’s officials, the victim was initially attacked while at the East Hemet home of one of the defendants. Authorities believe robbery was the motive.
The man later told detectives that the defendants dumped him in the trunk of his own car and drove onto state Route 74. When the car slowed down at an intersection, the victim managed to unlock the trunk, jump out and hide on the side of the road, investigators said.
A sheriff’s community service officer driving through the area around 9 a.m. spotted the seriously injured man standing on the shoulder of the highway and stopped to provide assistance.
Authorities said the alleged victim first lied and said he’d been carjacked at a gas station, and he provided only vague descriptions of his assailants.
Later, while recuperating in the hospital, the alleged victim said he fabricated his story because the defendants threatened his life if he told, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Wally Clear.
In February, investigators served search warrants at the defendants’ respective residences in East Hemet, arresting all except Brown. He was located and arrested in early March.
The defendants face life in prison if convicted.
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