An Ocean Beach man who repeatedly struck a jeweler with the blunt end of a hatchet was sentenced Sept. 19 to 14 years in state prison, a term of which he will have to serve 85 percent before he can be eligible for parol.
Travis Scott Kelley, 25, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of 75-year-old Carl Hamlin at Hamlin Jewelers in El Cajon on Jan. 22. Kelley also pleaded guilty to robbery and two felony assaults.
Hamlin was seriously injured in the attack but recovered enough to testify against Kelley at a preliminary hearing. Hamlin told Deputy District Attorney Gordon Davis he will be closing the jewelry store and moving away. Hamlin opened his jewelry store in 1965.
“He attacked me every time I got up. Four times,” wrote Hamlin in a letter to El Cajon Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren, who read the letter during sentencing.
“Mr. Hamlin is one tough old guy and he did not surrender,” said Davis.
Kelley entered the store and tried to tried to purchase an item with a stolen credit card, which did not go through. After the purchase was rejected, Kelley attacked Hamlin repeatedly.
The getaway driver, Ali Armeen Toombs, 21, of La Mesa, was given a 365-day sentence, but since he received more than 400 days credit, he was released from jail Sept. 19. Kelley was arrested in Ocean Beach on Jan. 24 by the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force and El Cajon police.
— Neal Putnam
CHURCH SETS BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS FOR OCT. 4
A popular local tradition returns
Oct. 4, when a local church conducts its annual Blessing of the Animals.
Local pet owners, regardless of religious beliefs, are invited to St. Peter’s By the Sea Lutheran Church to have their beloved creatures of all types receive God’s blessing.
The event honors the life of St. Francis of Assisi, commonly regarded as the patron saint of animals.
The Rev. Karen LaFollette Marohn, church pastor, will conduct a short outdoor service in the north parking lot of the church, located at 1371 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The event begins at 9 a.m.
Information will also be available about the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and local pet-care businesses.
In past years, the event has drawn people with snakes, lizards and birds, in addition to furry pets.
For more information, contact Betty Wells at (619) 347-1148.
— Scott Hopkins
SDG&E NOTES CONSERVATION EFFORTS, RECORD-HIGH USAGE
San Diego Gas & Electric has reported that the most recent heat wave resulted in all-time highs for energy demand for back-to-back days as well as helpful conservation efforts by customers.
Residents and businesses in the utility’s service area, which includes San Diego County and part of southern Orange County, used nearly 4,800 megawatts of energy on Sept. 15 and nearly 4,900 megawatts on Sept. 16. By comparison, demand on Sept. 18 ranged from 3,700 to 3,800 megawatts. A megawatt is equivalent to one million watts, or the energy produced by ten automobile engines.
High temperatures ranged into the high 90s in most areas on those days and climbed well over 100 degrees in many inland locations. High humidity levels from the remnants of Hurricane Odile led San Diegans to crank up their air conditioners. On the other hand, many customers used SDG&E’s demand response programs to cut back on consumption by an estimated 70 megawatts on Sept. 15 and 66 megawatts Sept. 16, the utility reported.
“The last several days brought severe weather conditions to SDG&E’s service area,” said Steven Davis, the utility’s chief operating officer, “and we are grateful to our customers, community partners and our first-responders who helped keep San Diego safe and displayed remarkable patience and responsiveness to our requests for help to conserve energy.”
SDG&E officials had said that the utility would have more than enough supply on hand to meet the expected demand. The utility worked with the California Independent System Operator, which manages power flow around the state, to make sure enough power was available locally.
PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS WILL SPRING INTO ACTION AT ARENA
California bull riding fans will get the opportunity to experience the toughest sport on dirt when the Professional Bull Riders Blue (PBR) DEF Velocity Tour bucks into Valley View Casino Center on Nov. 8. During this one-day event, the best up-and-coming bull riders in the world will face off with foes nearly 10 times their weight in sinewy brawn during the most thrilling eight seconds in sports.
Each rider will face off against at least two of the rankest bulls on the planet. At the end of the competition, the rider with the highest combined score will be crowned the champion.
The action begins at 7 p.m.
Tickets, ranging in price from $15 to $75, are on sale now.
Tickets are available at the Valley View Casino Center Box Office at www.axs.com, or by phone at (888) 929-7849.