8 Suspects in Custody in Carlsbad Murder Case - NBC 7 San Diego

8 Suspects in Custody in Carlsbad Murder Case



    8 Suspects in Custody in Carlsbad Murder Case

    Two more suspects are behind bars this morning in connection with the murder of a Carlsbad man, bringing the total number of suspects to eight.

    Michael Sahagun, 63, was shot to death on April 1, 2011, during a pre-planned robbery at his home on Valley Street.

    This past weekend, Jason Breer, 40, and Marilyn March, 25, were caught by Mexican authorities.

    Three of six suspects have pleaded not guilty. Joseph Verkade, 34, Michael Gault, 30, and Heather Strauch, 32, are each accused of murder, attempted robbery and second-degree burglary.

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    Additionally, Verkarde is suspected of fatally firing a shotgun to Sahagun’s chest and, with two special circumstances, could face the death penalty or life without parole if convicted.

    Gault and Strauch are charged with vicariously firing the deadly weapon and could serve up to 26 years to life in prison.

    “These defendants, ... who have a criminal history of drug use and probation violations, are charged of committing these heinous acts of violence against my brother,” Gerardo Sahagun, the victim's brother said. “These defendants are clearly a threat to the safety and security of the public if released.”

    Verkade is being held on $10 million bail. Gault and Strauch were ordered held on $5 million bail.

    Prosecutor Matthew Greco said the alleged murder was pre-planned.

    Grant Hunter, 23, and Mercedes Yorba, 19, were also arrested in connection to the murder and face charges of murder, residential robbery and burglary. Gary Gomez, 29, is an alleged accessory.