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DA to Appeal Dismissal of Murder Charge in Gregory Elarms' Case

Gregory Elarms was charged with fatally shooting another man outside Hillsdale Shopping Center before a judge dismissed the murder charge earlier this month.

The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office will appeal a judge's recent decision to dismiss a murder charge against a man suspected of killing his aquaintence outside a San Mateo mall two years ago, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a statement released Tuesday night.

Gregory Elarms, 60, has been accused of following David Lewis to the Hillsdale Shopping Center on June 9, 2010, where he allegedly shot Lewis once in the stomach with a .44-caliber handgun, fatally wounding him.

Jury selection for the murder trial was under way when, on Nov. 6, Judge Stephen Hall presented a written ruling dismissing the murder charge and charge that Lewis was a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to the court, San Mateo police had obtained Lewis' confession to the murder in violation of his Miranda rights, and thus the confession was inadmissible at trial.

In his statement Tuesday, Wagstaffe said the distrcit attorney's office believes the decision was "erroneous" and that Lewis' confession was properly obtained by the San Mateo Police Department.

"After extensive discussions with the California Attorney General’s Office in San Francisco and with the San Mateo Police Department, we have determined that the appropriate course is to seek review and reversal of the superior court’s decision suppressing the defendant’s confession by asking the California Attorney General to appeal the court’s decision to the California Court of Appeal," Wagstaffe said.

"We believe that the evidence gathered by the San Mateo Police Department supports the charges set forth in the Indictment and public safety mandates that the defendant be held accountable for the murder of victim David Lewis," he said.

Elarms, who pleaded not guilty to the murder last month, had previously been found incompetent to stand trial and was even sent to a state hospital following his arrest.

Meanwhile, Elarms remains in custody in lieu of $150,000 on a separate case charging him with three counts of felony possession of weapons in the county jail.

 

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