A man who allegedly beat his roommate with a metal baseball bat in Cathedral City was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on charges including attempted murder and torture.
Jason James Allen, 46, was arrested in Port Orchard, Washington, and extradited to Riverside County last August to face charges stemming from the May 2018 attack at a home in the 69000 block of Northhampton Avenue.
At the end of a roughly two-hour preliminary hearing, Judge Alfonso Fernandez found there was sufficient evidence for Allen to stand trial. Only two witnesses — both called by the prosecution — testified at the hearing.
Allen is expected back in court April 3 for a post-preliminary hearing arraignment.
According to an arrest warrant declaration, the victim, then 48-year-old Jason Burnette, was struck multiple times in the head and face and hospitalized for facial fractures, “partial ear loss” and a brain bleed.
Cathedral City police found the victim “covered in blood” just before 5 a.m. May 25 at a neighboring residence. He told responding officers that Allen told him “I got to kill you. I know I’m going to go to jail for a long time,” according to the declaration.
Allen allegedly fled in the victim’s car. Police attempted to track him down via his cell phone, which indicated he had been in Modesto within 24 hours of the crime, according to the declaration. A $1 million warrant was issued for his arrest.
Burnette’s wife, Gina, on a GoFundMe site created to raise funds for her husband’s medical expenses, alleged the attack was financially motivated. She claimed Allen “attempted to murder my Jason for about $3,000” in cash the victim kept at the home they all apparently shared.
Allen is charged with attempted murder, torture, carjacking and robbery. He is being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $1 million bail.
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