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Murder trial will stay in San Diego Neal Putnam | Sat, Mar 23 2013 12:00 PM

Defense attorneys for two murder suspects charged with killing Jordan Hickey in 2011 in National City have lost a bid to return the trial to Chula Vista Superior Court.

The trial of Juan Ignacio Gomez, 22, and Humberto Emanuel Galvez, 20, was moved to San Diego Superior Court after District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced her office is seeking the death penalty for Galvez, believed to be the gunman.

Deputy District Attorney David Grapilon said there are more judges and larger courtrooms in downtown San Diego. He said no death penalty case has gone to trial in Chula Vista.

The pair are accused of shooting Hickey, 21, three times as he was walking his bicycle uphill in the 2800 block of Grove Street at 12:35 a.m. on April 29, 2011. He was only several blocks away from his home with his mother, Jeannine Hickey, in National City.

Judge Timothy Walsh denied the change of venue motion back to Chula Vista Superior Court last week where the preliminary hearing was held in 2012. Their trial is set for July 15.

The men are accused of the special circumstance of killing the victim during a drive-by shooting. They have pleaded not guilty and remain in jail without bail.

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