Man charged with shooting another man in front of La Mesa Burlington Coat Factory pleads not guilty

EL CAJON (KUSI) — The accused killer of a man shot during a botched mugging outside a Burlington Coat Factory store in La Mesa pleaded not guilty today to murder and other charges.

Derrick Eli Henderson, 30, is also charged with robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces 65 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha.

Two women who allegedly took part in the botched mugging that left 30-year-old Travis Lewis dead in a parking lot in the 7900 block of El Cajon Boulevard on July 20 were arraigned on Thursday. Tiesha Miller-Johnson, 32, and Kathryn Luwana Williams, 24, are also charged with murder and robbery and were arraigned late last week.

Police have not disclosed what led them to identify Henderson and the two women as suspects in the case.

Judge John Thompson set bail for Henderson at $1.5 million and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Aug. 9 at the El Cajon Courthouse.

Miller-Johnson and Williams were taken into custody about noon last Tuesday. Roughly seven hours later, La Mesa police Detective Jacob Wisler spotted Henderson walking in the 4300 block of Altadena Avenue in San Diego, San Diego police said.

On being confronted by the lawman, the alleged shooter began approaching Wisler “while concealing both hands within his waistband,” SDPD Lt. Todd Griffin said.

"The detective (repeatedly ordered) the suspect to show his hands and get down on the ground,” Griffin said. "The suspect ignored the commands and, fearing for his safety and the safety of the public, the detective fired several rounds from his handgun at the suspect, missing him.”

Henderson fled through a nearby apartment complex before being captured by other officers. He’s being held without bail.

Miller-Johnson and Williams are being held in lieu of $1 million and $750,000 bail, respectively.

Categories: Local San Diego News