Elderly man pleads not guilty in shotgun slaying at RV park

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EL CAJON, Calif. — A felon who allegedly gunned down a fellow resident during an argument at an East County recreational vehicle park pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a first-degree murder charge.

ShotgunLeland Ernest Clyde, 73, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Clyde is accused of shooting 56-year-old Jock Martin with a shotgun at Ma Tar Awa Campground on Browns Road in Alpine shortly after 4 p.m. last Sunday. Martin died at the scene.

“There was some sort of neighbor dispute, and the defendant approached the victim in the common area of their RV park, in which they were neighbors,” Deputy District Attorney Derek Grilz said.

“The defendant approached the victim with a shotgun and shot him once in the chest, which knocked him to the ground, then stood over him and reloaded, and fired two additional shots into the victim’s head,” the prosecutor alleged. “Any one of those shots would have been fatal.”

Clyde faces 100 years to life in prison if convicted of murder and use of a firearm.

“The defendant has a violent criminal history dating back to 1959, with convictions including robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon,” Grilz said.

According to the initial report from responding officers, Clyde, after allegedly killing Martin, “went back into his trailer and retrieved more shotgun rounds,” homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio alleged. “Martin’s brother came out of his trailer after hearing the shots, and Clyde pointed the shotgun at him. The brother ran away and called for help.”

A sheriff’s helicopter crew arrived a short time later and used loudspeakers to order Clyde to disarm himself and lie down on the ground. Patrol deputies then took him into custody.

The nature of the dispute between the suspect and victim was unclear.

A readiness conference was set for March 20 and a preliminary hearing for March 25.

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