Preliminary hearing begins in trial of man accused of Horton Pla - The CW San Diego - News 8

Preliminary hearing begins in trial of man accused of Horton Plaza murder

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman testified Monday that she saw her boyfriend shoot two men -- one fatally -- outside a comedy club at Horton Plaza in San Diego five months ago.

The woman -- identified only as Ashley -- testified as a preliminary hearing got underway for 40-year-old Arrow Morris, who is charged with murder and attempted murder.

The witness testified that she and Morris, his brother, and two other people exited the club about 11:45 p.m. on June 10 after Morris became upset and slapped her in the face.

Once outside, Morris wrestled her purse away from her and walked away with his brother, she testified.

"I saw a gun come out (peripherally) out of nowhere," the woman said. "There were a few gunshots."

She said she looked back and saw two men on the ground. The woman said Morris took off with her car and left her and a girlfriend stranded.

Once she got home, Ashley said she lied to police about what she saw until finally telling them she witnessed Morris shoot the victims.

She testified that Morris had a gun in her car but told her that he wasn't bringing it into the club, and said she didn't confront him about the shooting because she feared for her safety.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund said 43-year-old James Celani -- a decorated Navy pilot -- and his cousin were enjoying a night out at the club when Celani acknowledged the defendant, who suddenly shot the victim twice in the head and once in the chest.

Celani was pronounced dead at UCSD Medical Center. His cousin was shot in the leg.

The defendant faces 79 years to life in prison plus an additional eight years and four months behind bars if convicted, according to the prosecutor, who said Morris has a 2011 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon in a road rage attack in which he struck a motorist with a hammer.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, which resumes Tuesday morning, Judge Margo Lewis Hoy will decide whether enough evidence was presented to order Morris to stand trial.

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