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Murder charges refiled against county inmate

July 24, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The District Attorney's Office dismissed a murder charge against a county jail inmate, then immediately refiled the charge Monday to allow more time to develop evidence.

Inmate Lonnie Perkins had been charged with murder in connection with a fatal stabbing of a fellow inmate at Calipatria State Prison while Perkins was serving a sentence there.

The stabbing occurred more than a year ago.

While Perkins was charged with murder, in February he was released from state prison because he had finished serving his term for the crime for which he was originally convicted.

Upon his release from state prison, Perkins was booked into the county jail on the murder charge.

The statutory deadline to bring Perkins to trial for the murder was nearing, but Assistant District Attorney Joe Beard said the DA's Office was not yet ready to start the trial.

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He said time is needed to allow prosecutors to develop additional DNA evidence. There are other suspects thought to be involved in the fatal stabbing.

Beard said by refiling the murder charge against Perkins, the DA's Office must start its case from scratch, going through the hearing process again and taking other steps leading to the trial.

The fatal stabbing occurred on July 11, 2000. The inmate killed was Steven Brown, according to complaint filed by the DA's Office.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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