Biotech exec’s murder trial to select jury

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of a former biotech executive accused of wounding his estranged brother-in-law and an ex-business partner in separate shootings at the alleged victims’ La Jolla homes.

Hans Antone Petersen, 50, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count each of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and burglary in connection with the Sept. 18, 2013, shootings. He faces up to 96 years to life in prison if convicted.

About 3 that morning, Petersen fired his gun into the master bedroom of 53-year-old Steven Dowdy, a UC San Diego researcher and former business associate, said Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund. Dowdy and his wife were sleeping when Petersen allegedly started firing.

“But for a dresser-table, the husband would have died,” Maund said, adding that four shots hit the dresser. “When the husband got out of bed, he was shot (in the lower back).”

About four hours later, Petersen allegedly broke into a home on Cottontail Lane and fired randomly until he found his second “intended target,” the 43-year-old brother of Petersen’s estranged wife.

Ronald Fletcher was shot in the stomach but was able to disarm the defendant, Maund said.

Petersen was arrested later the same day and remains in custody today, with bail set at $5 million.

Police said the relationship between Petersen and Dowdy began to sour when Petersen lost his job and blamed Dowdy, and the suspect allegedly targeted Fletcher because of the role he played in his sister’s separation from Petersen.

According to Petersen’s online resume, he is CEO of Bays Four Corp., a genome data-analysis firm headquartered in La Jolla.

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