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Trial Delayed For Accused Killers Of Cornerstone Community Pastor's Son

Three men are standing trial for the murder of Joshua Armstrong, 22, son of Ron Armstrong, senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Wildomar.

The trial of three men charged in the stabbing death of a Wildomar pastor’s son has been delayed for six months.

On Friday, Judge Timothy F. Freer postponed the trial until August due to scheduling problems with the attorneys.

San Diego residents Matthew Alexis Basler, 32, Marvin Justin Black, 27, and James Wing Fung, 32, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, assault and dissuading a witness with a sentence enhancement for using a deadly weapon, court records show.

On Dec. 26, 2008, the three men allegedly killed Joshua Armstrong, 22, and tried to kill his friend, Joel Ross, in an alley behind E.T.’s Bar in Temecula.

Armstrong was the son of Ron Armstrong, the senior pastor at . Ross, who was injured in the incident, is the son of Hugh Ross, a creationist author and public speaker.

The fight that led to Armstrong’s death started over a glass of beer, a witness testified during a hearing last year.

The three defendants were playing pool with some female friends near the victims and their group of friends when somebody in the defendants’ group found a beer on one of the pool tables. The person got angry and placed the beer in a woman’s purse, testified Lauren Grove, who was with the defendants' the night of the killing.

The owner of the purse was one of Armstrong’s friends, and her boyfriend exchanged words with the defendants. The discussion got heated, so Armstrong stepped in to smooth things over. Through the evening, he went over to the defendants’ group several times to ensure they had no hard feelings, Grove testified.

Later that night, Basler grabbed Armstrong and pulled him outside, but other people broke them up before a fight started. As Basler drove away from the bar with his friends, he pulled into the alley and found Armstrong. The three men jumped out and they started fighting, Grove said.

The men ran back to the car and Grove drove the truck away, leaving Armstrong limping in the parking lot, she said.

Days later, a mysterious woman called Grove and warned her not to go to the police. She thought she heard Basler and Fung’s voices in the background, she testified.

The problem with the attorneys’ schedules should be resolved by August, they agreed in a hearing today.

Fung’s attorney, Karen Lockhart, is involved in another trial, and lawyers are allowed to participate in only one trial at a time. A vacation in June will stop William Wolfe, Basler’s attorney, from being available during that time period, he said.  --City News Service contributed to this report.

Judith Smith March 05, 2011 at 05:49 PM
This is what I don't understand......How can defendents plead "not guilty" when they were seen harming or, in this case, killing someone. We are much too lenient in our criminal justice system. Where is the justice for the victims and their families?
Paul Bashaw March 05, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Too bad we do not have hanging till death in this counrty. That is what all Three of these men should have done to them . An Eye for an Eye . Hopefully God will take care of them in his way. So very sad .
Mia Michaels March 05, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Alcohol kills people -
mara March 06, 2011 at 05:12 PM
His name is Ryan Joshua Armstrong
Anon March 06, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Because we have too many liberals creating laws is why!
Anon March 06, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Why are they smiling? Maybe we should cut their lips off!
taylor April 15, 2011 at 11:50 PM
The 3 men in the picture sure do not look sad at all or remorseful for what they did. They ruined lives not to mention their own, over a stupid issue with beer? This is why I stay away from bars. People act stupid. They get a little alcohol in their systems and they want to fight, why? I wonder if these idiots had anything else in their systems besides alcohol? I hope they get a lengthy sentence. They should not be smiling. They should be asking for forgiveness and making their lives better. Sad accident. It seems like people can't go out anymore for a game of pool or a drink with friends.... sad. :(
John Lloyd April 16, 2011 at 02:13 AM
These people would be evil, drunk or sober.
Jane Schart April 23, 2011 at 02:02 PM
An eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth....God is ALWAYS is in control, and after judgement day I seriously doublt if these 3 so called humans will be smiling. Can't wait for that day.
KE June 24, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Matt tell your co defendant to wipe that stupid smerk off his face. SERIOUSLY!
Diana July 11, 2011 at 09:52 PM
So why were charges dropped in court today, I don't get it?
aaron July 12, 2011 at 03:41 AM
These lil punks are PUSSYS! Thats why they had to use a weapon. White trash, low life, scum bag, trailer trash! I would of loved to be there back then, have a beer with these losers and then beat the crap out of them. Whatever happen to a good ol' fashion ass woopin'?
OzWaldo Triple O Q July 24, 2011 at 11:52 AM
...wwait wait some of you sound just as bad as these fellas on trial what r u twelve ?Really? I mean cmon obviously the court system has reasons for there decesions and your talking like you dont understand....S if you dont know why the F..k are you even judging o yeah bc your the trash.Have a Great Day!
Mr. Lada July 24, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Unfortunately OzWaldo your choice of using poor spelling, incorrect grammar and silly, childlike abbreviations make you appear to be the 12 year old! For starters, please learn the occasions when to use 'their' and 'there' and 'your' and 'you're.' When you are older you may learn when to use 'they're' as an added bonus word!
Anon July 24, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Lada ,he is just another tool that gets on the internet to spread thier stupidity.
Michelle alexander April 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
It's unfortunate of this situation but to make matters worse or even seem rediculous, there are people on here passing judgement, name calling and even acting immature. I wouldn't wish this situation on either side of it on anyone, obviously the situation was instegated by both partties to get to the point that it got to so in my opinion who ever else that was there at the bar with the pastors son should also b charged with something as well, and just because a terrible situation happened who are any of you to judge weither someone is ignorant because they can't spell or use words properly and not to mention pass judgement on someone's character whether they would do this drunk or sober when you don't know them personally. Some people need to step back and think about the situation and put yourselves in both parties shoes if you were to ever make a bad decision or even put in the exact same situation. How would y'all want people to react or speak about you
a April 23, 2012 at 04:58 PM
This is so sad I use to know Matty when he was a sweet young boy his older brother committed suicide in 2004 and I think that set him into a tailspin (not an excuse) but I do know this is not the Matty I remember I don't know what happened but it breaks my heart. Alcohol never goes good with people who have issues. Maybe he should of gotten some help to deal with his grief instead of going to the bars and getting drunk. I'm sure he wishes he could take it back he use to be a good kid.
Lucy Lawless May 15, 2012 at 07:04 PM
This is so very sad. His name is Ryan Armstrong. Please, let's remember him as Ryan and not just the son of a pastor. Ryan was an awesome young man and had so much going for him. Please take him out of his father’s shadow and remember him as Ryan. Those three who aided in taking his life are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt when it comes to the justice system. However, God is truly the judge. Please keep in mind that they are also the same type of people we go into prisons and minister to and they are God's children too. Yes they should be stripped of all their earthly freedoms and locked up till they meet their maker. Don't let the Devil cloud your better senses and cause you to think evil about this situation. Because if you do, you'll be adding to your own list of sins and endanger your salvation too. Ryan has gone on to live his eternal life. His long term prayers have been answered. However, those three guys need our prayers more than ever. Ryan’s family and friends along with the family and friends of those three, need our prayers too. Rest In Peace Ryan…
DeMarie Rossi August 16, 2012 at 09:26 AM
Lucy all I can say is thank you.
C August 25, 2012 at 06:59 AM
I remember Matt, I knew him when we were kids... he had a good heart and was a good person. Do not underestimate how drugs can ruin your life... And that effects everyone around you period. I am confident if he could he would take this all back, but its too late now. And of course no one cares, thats the world we live in. No one ever cared, that was the problem for Matt... Its a sad story for everyone.
tricia zizzo August 30, 2012 at 03:31 AM
i love you ry ry. you will always be in my heart and justice will come one day, i promise. i dream of you all the time and i will NEVER forget about you.

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