Jury selection got underway Wednesday in the trial of an accused killer who randomly bashed a 54-year-old woman with a liquor bottle while she was standing in line at a Temecula store.
The suspect and victim had not known each other, and authorities did not say what a motive may have been.
Brian Eldon Saylor, 32, of Temecula was charged last year with murder for allegedly inflicting the severe head trauma that ultimately claimed the life of Tammy Serrano, also of Temecula.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge John Monterosso summoned several panels of prospective jurors to the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta Wednesday for screening. Opening statements could be held on Friday.
Saylor, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, is acting as his own attorney.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Huskey, deputies were called to the CVS/Pharmacy at 31771 Rancho California Road, in the shopping district just off of Meadows Parkway, to investigate reports of an assault on the afternoon of June 13, 2016.
Witnesses, including the victim’s daughter, alleged that Serrano was standing in the checkout lane when a stranger — later identified as Saylor — walked up and struck her in the back of the head with a large liquor bottle. Serrano died the next day at Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar. She and the defendant had no known prior encounters, and a possible motive has not been disclosed.
When deputies arrived, pharmacy employees were holding the 6-feet-2, 240- pound Saylor, who was taken into custody without a fight, according to Huskey.
In addition to eyewitnesses, part of the attack was captured by store security surveillance video cameras.
An employee from a neighboring outlet told reporters that the defendant was often seen walking around the area and sometimes appeared intoxicated but did not seem violent.
He has no documented prior felony convictions.
–City News Service