4th arrest made in 2011 drive-by murder

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SAN DIEGO — A 24-year-old man already in jail on unrelated charges was re-arrested Friday on suspicion of taking part in a gang retaliation killing in City Heights four years ago.

Lamont Holman of San Diego allegedly was one of four people — two men and two women — in a car that approached 28-year-old Cordell King as he stood talking on his cell phone in the 4600 block of Thorn Street shortly after 5 p.m. on April 17, 2011, according to San Diego police.

Someone in the vehicle opened fire with a pistol, wounding King, Lt. Paul Rorrison said. The driver sped off, but slowed down a short distance away, pulled a U-turn 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, the lieutenant said. The victim, who lived nearby, died at the scene.

The case went unsolved until recently, when detectives got a break in the investigation, according to Rorrison. Last month, three suspected gang associates — Callie Monee Beasley, 25, Dionte Simpson, 25, and Jennifer Lee Whitmer, 28 — were arrested and charged with murder in connection with the killing of King.

At the latter two suspects’ July 28 arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lawson told Judge David Szumowski that King was “executed” six days after a well-known member of the defendants’ gang was killed in a drive-by shooting on Ocean View Boulevard.

The defendants were “hunting” for rivals to take revenge on when they came upon King, who was wearing blue clothing associated with an enemy gang, the prosecutor alleged during the hearing.

Officials have not disclosed if the victim had gang ties.

Simpson, who is being held at George Bailey Detention Facility in lieu of $2 million bail, is awaiting trial on an attempted murder charge for allegedly using the same .45-caliber gun used in King’s slaying to shoot another person in June 2011. He is scheduled to be arraigned in the earlier murder case Tuesday afternoon.

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