San Diego

Lake Murray Woman Died With Baby in Her Arms: DA

Vanessa Bobo allegedly attempted to shield her children from the violence, holding the younger child in her arms, the prosecutor said in Tuesday's hearing.

A former security guard accused of shooting and killing his longtime girlfriend while she held their baby was ordered held on $3 million bond Tuesday.

Roderick Harris appeared in a blue jail uniform with his head lowered, his eyes focused on the floor in front of him.

Harris, 32, is accused of killing his girlfriend, Vanessa Marie Bobo, 29, in the apartment they shared on Lake Arrowhead Drive. The couple dated for four years and had an 11-month old baby together.

The hearing Tuesday was his first court appearance. When the judge addressed him, Harris looked up briefly and spoke softly. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder.

Harris was arrested the day after San Diego Police officers found Bobo's body and her 5-year-old son and crying 11-month old inside the apartment. The children were not harmed, but were frightened. Investigators initially said the older child helped identify his mother's killer.

When Harris was arrested in Chula Vista, he had several minor wounds on his body. A prosecutor described the wounds as self-inflicted and superficial.

According to the complaint, Harris and Bobo argued the night of her death. Bobo allegedly attempted to shield her children from the violence, holding the younger child in her arms.

Just before midnight, Harris allegedly fired two shots from a .357 revolver, the prosecutor claimed. One bullet went into a neighbor's wall but the other bullet struck Bobo's spinal cord, severing it, according to investigators.

The young mother fell to the floor and dropped the baby, the prosecutor said.

Records indicate Harris has one prior domestic violence arrest, but no convictions. That prior incident was from a prior relationship and did not involve Bobo.

Investigators searched the home and removed three rifles, a shotgun, another revolver and two semi-automatic handguns, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors requested a $4 million bail saying that Harris, with his interest in weapons, posed a safety risk to the public.

The judge approved bail at $3 million and approved a protective order for the children.

According to police, Harris is the biological father of Bobo's younger child, who turns 1 on Oct. 21.

The 5-year-old son is staying with his biological father while the infant is being cared for by family members, NBC 7 confirmed.

The suspect was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Chula Vista at a relative’s house. NBC 7’s Wendy Fry has more on how authorities identified and located the man in such short time.
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