Judge orders Murrieta man to stand trial for murder of grandmother whose body remains missing
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Issue 08, Volume 18.
Following a three-day preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez found there was sufficient evidence to bound the defendant over for trial on charges of first- degree murder and committing a felony while on bail.
Bermudez scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment in the case for March 7 and left the defendant's bail at $1 million. McLean is being held at the Southwest Detention Center.
Last September, a friend of the defendant, 19-year-old Neal Michael Erickson, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact, as well as misdemeanor vandalism. He served around half of a nine-month jail term and is now on felony probation.
Erickson, who was among the first witnesses to testify during McLean's hearing, alleged that he had seen the victim's body stuffed in the back of the defendant's car.
According to Erickson, he played no part in the murder and had nothing to do with disposing of Sutton's remains. The witness told Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Garcia that McLean asked to meet him, and when the two got together on July 11, McLean opened the trunk of his car and showed him the lifeless woman.
According to Erickson, it was the same day that the two men had been arrested for graffiti vandalism, which occurred outside Sutton's two-story house at 27618 Graystone Lane. The witness testified that McLean believed his grandmother had called the police on them.
Erickson admitted accompanying McLean to purchase bleach and other products to clean up the house, but he refused to do anything hands-on.
According to the witness, he was under the influence of drugs much of the time. He said he did not ask how or where McLean dumped the remains.
According to investigators, McLean had his own room at Sutton's house. Murrieta police officers went to the location to check on her after one of her daughters -- McLean's aunt -- reported her missing on July 14.
Officers found blood smears and other evidence of foul play, according to police.
An undisclosed quantity of methamphetamine was seized from McLean's bedroom, where investigators also allegedly found the victim's credit cards.
According to court records, McLean was arrested June 24 for allegedly being in possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. He was free on bond at the time of his arrest for murder.
MURRIETA – Today, Feb. 21, a Riverside County judge found there is enough evidence for a Murrieta man to stand trial for the murder of his grandmother. Kyle Roger McLean, 22, of Murrieta, is charged with the July 2013 murder of his grandmother, Catherine Sutton, 71.
If convicted as now charged, McLean faces up to 25 years to life in prison. Today, after about two and half days of evidence and testimony at the preliminary hearing, Judge Angel Bermudez found there was enough evidence for McLean to stand trial as charged. McLean now has an information arraignment scheduled for March 7, 2014, in Dept. S204 at the Southwest Justice Center. Catherine Sutton has been missing since July 11, 2013. Her daughter reported her missing to Murrieta police the evening of July 14, 2013.
Based on the evidence in this case, including evidence collected at her Murrieta home on Graystone Lane, it is believed that Sutton was murdered. McLean lived at his grandmother’s home at the time of the murder.
At this time, McLean’s body has not been located. In July 2013, a second man entered a guilty plea to the court to being an accessory to a felony in connection with the murder. Neil Michael Erickson, DOB: 5-23-95, of Wildomar, was sentenced on Sept. 6, 2013, to 270 days in custody and five years of formal probation. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Garcia.
Preliminary hearing begins for Murrieta man charged with murder of grandmother; body still missing Thursday, Feb. 20
MURRIETA – Wednesday, Feb. 19 marked the first day of a Murrieta man’s preliminary hearing who is charged with the murder of his grandmother. Kyle Roger McLean, 22, who is being held on $1 million bail, has pleaded not guilty. On July 11, 2013, 71-year-old Catherine Sutton was reported missing to Murrieta police by her daughter, Andreana Arriaga.
According to Arriaga, she reported Sutton to be missing after going to her home on Grayston Lane and finding her nephew, who is reported to have been living there, alone. Based on the evidence, authorities say Sutton was slain by McLean, who later dumped her body in the wilderness.
Her body, however, remains to be found. In July 2013, a second man entered a plea to the court of guilty to being an accessory to a felony in connection with the murder. Neil Michael Erickson, 18, of Wildomar, was sentenced on Sept. 6, 2013, to 270 days in custody and five years of formal probation. He is currently out of jail and on probation. At the preliminary hearing for McLean, a judge will determine if there is enough evidence for the defendant to stand trial. If convicted as now charged, McLean faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
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