A jury was seated Thursday for the trial of a 47-year-old man accused of severely beating his roommate with a metal baseball bat in Cathedral City.
Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio in the trial of Jason James Allen, who is charged with attempted murder, torture, carjacking, robbery and other felonies stemming from the May 2018 attack at a home in the 69000 block of Northhampton Avenue.
He was arrested in Port Orchard, Washington, about three months after the alleged crimes and extradited to Riverside County.
According to an arrest warrant declaration, 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 said they found the 48-year-old victim covered in blood just before 5 a.m. on May. 25, 2018, at a neighboring residence. He told 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 cellphone, 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 remains in custody at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $1 million bail.