A man who is accused of shooting a "homemade cannon" at his girlfriend in front of their 4-year-old daughter in Potrero appeared in court Thursday for an arraignment.
Richard Fox, 39, is charged with killing his 38-year-old girlfriend Jeannette Fay Ogara on Tuesday.
Fox and another man had been working on the device outside the residence in the Twin Lakes Resort mobile home park when it fired, sending a projectile into the home officials said. Sheriff's deputies initially described the device as a "cannon" but are now calling it an explosive device.
Fox entered a not guilty plea and his bail was set at $3.5 million. The District Attorney asked for Fox to be held on no bail.
Judge Charles Ervin cited several previous weapons convictions in 1998 and 1992. The DA claimed there were three other adult males in the trailer and that all had been drinking.
At the end of the hearing, Fox was charged with murder, explosion of a destructive device causing death, and felony child abuse.
A friend of Fox’s, Tammy Matthews, spoke to NBCSanDiego before the hearing and called the incident a “stupid accident.”
Matthews said Fox had wanted to put on a fireworks show for his daughter, so he loaded multiple fireworks into the device for a large “finale.” Instead, the fireworks exploded the cannon-like object sending debris into the air, and injuring Ogara.
Matthews could not confirm if alcohol had been involved in the incident.
She said Fox and Ogara had been together for 10 years and he was a church-going man who worked in construction.
The 4-year-old daughter is currently staying with Ogara’s mother, according to Matthews. She said Fox’s father is unable to care take of her and the defendant's brother plans to request custody.
Matthews said Fox plans to ask for bail and request leave to bury Ogara.
A preliminary hearing is set for March 21.
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