Victim’s Mother Accuses Sheriff of “Dropping the Ball” on Investigation, Considers Lawsuit
By Miriam Raftery
Update October 2013: Jerry Arnold has contacted ECM to advise that charges against him were reduced to distrubing the peace with loud music, for which he paid a fine. Arnold also shared his side of the story. "I was executor of the estate. I hadn't been around for nine years. I told the kids they couldn't have a party, but they had it anyway...When police got here, I was breaking up the party. My son who had the party, I threw him out of the house...To say that I was contributing to minors' drinking couldn't be farther from the truth." Arnold told ECM he knew nothng about the assault on Chris Jones, which did not occur on the property. He insists that he is not prejudiced and that three of his close family members have black partners or spouses. He added that when he asked all party guests to leave and did not single out those who were black. Johnson claims he was innocent of all charges but could not afford an attorney, so accepted the plea bargain offer.
October 9, 2009 (Deerhorn Valley) – The San Diego County District Attorney (D.A.) has filed three counts of misdemeanor charges in the case of an African-American teenager severely beaten by a group of white men last April at a party in Deerhorn Valley, near Jamul. The home was in probate; the representative of the estate, Jerry Arnold Jr., was charged with allowing minors to drink; his son and a juvenile were charged with vandalizing the victim's car.
Denise Brown, mother of the victim, is outraged that no charges of assault or hate crimes were filed. “The Sheriff dropped the ball on this investigation, big-time,” Brown told East County Magazine following a hate crimes summit in El Cajon last week. “Those men beat my son. They smashed the car windows. They tried to burn the vehicle with him inside. There were boot prints and hand prints all over the car, but the Sheriff’s Department had it towed and never even took prints.”