The death penalty will be sought against the gunman if he is convicted of killing Jordan Hickey as he was walking his bicycle uphill in National City in 2011, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis agreed to seek the death penalty against Humberto Emanuel “Beto” Galvez, 20, if he is convicted of first-degree murder in the April 29, 2011, slaying of Hickey, 21.
A life term without the possibility of parole would be sought for the driver, Juan Ignacio Gomez, 22, if he is convicted, said Deputy District Attorney David Grapilon on Tuesday. Grapilon said the decision was told to the defendants in court on Jan. 3.
Both men are accused of killing Hickey, who was shot three times at 12:35 a.m. in the 2800 block of Grove Street, in association with a criminal street gang. They are accused of the special circumstance of murder during a drive-by shooting.
As a result of the decision to seek execution, the case is moving from Chula Vista Superior Court to San Diego Superior Court on Monday, Jan. 14. Grapilon said next Monday is the trial date, but now that it is in a different courthouse, a new trial date will be selected.
Jeannine Hickey, the victim’s mother, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, but she said earlier in an interview with KUSI (Channel 51) she would favor execution.
“I would prefer the death penalty. That’s what they gave my son. That’s what they deserve,” said Hickey in the 2012 interview. “They blasted him. It was pretty much like a firing squad from the car.”
Jordan Hickey was developmentally disabled and lived with his mother in Lincoln Acres, an unincorporated area of National City.
Attorneys for Galvez and Gomez could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The two men lived in the same house on Logan Ave. until their arrests on March 22, 2012, in Chula Vista.
A witness testified that both men admitted to him they killed Hickey for no apparent reason. “We just went looking for anyone to kill just for the fun of it,” he quoted one of them as saying.
A detective who interviewed Galvaz testified in the preliminary hearing that he said “he just wanted to see what it was like to shoot somebody.”
Both men remain in jail on $2 million bail.