2 arrests made in 2011 drive-by murder

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SAN DIEGO — Two suspects, one of them already in jail, were arrested Friday on suspicion of taking part in an alleged gang murder in a neighborhood near Manzanita Canyon more than four years ago.

San Diego police took 28-year-old Jennifer Lee Whitmer into custody about 8:30 a.m. during a traffic stop near her Lincoln Park home, SDPD Lt. Paul Rorrison said.

Jail inmate Dionte J. Simpson, 25, was re-arrested at the South Bay Detention Facility, where he has been in custody on unrelated charges since May 2014.

Simpson and Whitmer allegedly were among four people in a car that approached 28-year-old Cordell King as he stood talking on his cellphone in the 4600 block of Thorn Street in City Heights shortly after 5 p.m. on April 17, 2011.

Someone in the vehicle opened fire, hitting King several times, Rorrison said. The driver sped away but turned the vehicle around and drove back to where the victim lay on the ground.

One occupant then got out, stood over King and shot him several more times, “basically executing him,” the lieutenant said. The victim, who lived nearby, died at the scene.

Detectives recently uncovered evidence that allowed them to identify the gang members believed to have been in the shooter’s vehicle, according to Rorrison. He declined to release the outstanding suspects’ names but said police expected to have them in custody soon.

Rorrison also would not disclose Simpson’s or Whitmer’s alleged roles in the slaying or say if the victim had gang associations.

“I’ll just say there was a gang nexus to this and leave it at that,” the lieutenant said.

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