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Judge Denies Accused Murderers' Request

Attorneys for Matthew Basler, James Fung and Marvin Black had unsuccessfully petitioned the judge to consider picking a jury panel from Riverside, rather than locally.

Three defendants facing trial in the stabbing death of a Wildomar pastor's son will be judged by a jury of their peers from Southwest Riverside County, rather than a panel from Riverside, as their attorneys requested.

The request was made during the start of the jury selection process in the trial of

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez out of the presence of prospective jurors was asked by Basler's attorney to summon a jury pool from Riverside, according to court records.

But on Thursday, following arguments by all counsel, it was determined the current crop of prospects would suffice in the selection process, court documents indicate.

Bermudez ordered everyone back to court Monday to continue jury selection.

The defendants face 60 years in prison if convicted of murder, attempted murder and weapons allegations in the Dec. 26, 2008, slaying of 22-year-old Ryan Joshua Armstrong and the stabbing of his friend, Joel Ross.

The defendants are each being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

While awaiting trial -- and sitting in jail -- Fung picked up a misdemeanor battery charge and Basler picked up two felony assault charges, according to court papers.

Black was charged with possession of a hand-made weapon in jail, according to court records.

According to testimony during the preliminary hearing, the murder was committed after Basler, Black and Fung -- all of San Diego -- went to E.T.'s Bar in Temecula on the same night Armstrong, Ross and about 10 other friends went there to play pool.

To read more about the case, click here.

Teller of Truth September 21, 2012 at 07:13 PM
GOOD! I'm so glad that these clowns were denied a change of venue. I hope that lots of friends & family show up in court and speak on behalf of the deceased Pastors son. I believe that kind of an out pouring will have a definite affect on the sentencing.

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