(VitalNews.org) – William Innes, a 18-year-old man from San Diego, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Annette Pershal, 68. Pershal was affectionately known as “Granny Annie” in her local community, where she had been living on the streets for approximately seven years. Prosecutors have alleged that Innes targeted Pershal simply because she was homeless, and that just 20 minutes before killing her, Innes had told friends that he wanted to “go hobo hunting”.
Prosecutors say that Innes had his 19-year-old friend Ryan Hopkins drive him up to the Serra Mesa homeless encampment on May 7, where Pershal had been staying. Without leaving the car, Innes shot Pershal five times with a pellet gun and then left her there to die. Pershal, who weighed just 80 pounds, suffered internal bleeding and had several strokes after being shot in the head, torso, and leg. She was found unconscious on the street the next morning by police officers and taken to hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, her injuries were too severe to recover from, and she died three days later on May 11.
The medical examiner informed police officers that the death was ruled a homicide on July 31, and police were able to find and arrest the Hopkins and Innes on August 3. Both have been held without bail and face a range of charges. If convicted, Innes faces 25 years to life behind bars, whereas Hopkins faces just 3 years imprisonment.
Hopkins’ lawyer, Vikas Bajaj, claimed that the message in which Innes referred to “hobo hunting”, which was sent to a group that included Hopkins, was sent 12 hours after the killing as opposed to 20 minutes beforehand. Bajaj went on to claim that Hopkins was a normal teenager with a “warm heart” despite his alleged part in the killing. The lawyer said he did not believe that Hopkins intended to hurt anybody, despite allegedly acting as getaway driver and, along with Innes, failing to administer aid or call for help.
Copyright 2023, VitalNews.org