SAN DIEGO – Witnesses testified Tuesday in a case against a Clairemont man accused of beating his roommate to death.
David Ashton, 62, was charged with first degree murder in connection with the beating death of his 48-year-old roommate Regina Moore.
Detectives and the San Diego County Medical Examiner spoke Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for Ashton. Yet, it was the victim’s boyfriend and friends who spoke at length about the violent beatings and confrontations that took place between the defendant and Moore.
Ashton sat expressionless as witnesses one by one were questioned in court.
“He came out after her, pushed her down, took off his belt and started whipping her with it," Moore’s longtime friend, Bob Phillips. "He was going at it, he was hitting her hard.”
Prosecutors say in late January, Ashton beat his roommate severely. Moore then left the Clairemont Mesa home they shared together and went to stay with her boyfriend in Pacific Beach. Later that night she stopped breathing and died, they said.
“At first when I told him he was being charged with murder, he said, 'Murder?' as if it was a question,” said San Diego police homicide Detective Anna Yankovich.
Medical staff told police the victim suffered several head injuries, which caused bleeding in Moore’s brain. She also had multiple fractures to her left arm and ribs.
San Diego County Medical Examiner Kimi Verilhac said the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death was homicide.
Verilhac discussed Moore's extensive injuries and even showed photos in court.
Moore’s boyfriend and friends spoke about several violent incidents, including the one in which they believe Ashton killed her.
"He hits me on top of the head, so it doesn’t leave any marks. And when she came out on that night did she show you where she’d been hit? She didn’t point to it, she just said he had hit me on the head,” said the victim’s boyfriend John Bartholomae.
Ashton faces 25 years to life in prison if he’s convicted. His arraignment is set for July 6.