SAN MARCOS — A young man accused of stabbing another partygoer during a brawl in a San Marcos cul-de-sac pleaded not guilty Oct. 10 in a Vista Superior Court.
Judge Timothy Casserly found enough evidence to order Ryan David Brown, 23, to stand trial for the beating and stabbing of Jaxon Luhrs, as well as for the no-look haymaker he landed on Rory Hollis, the party’s host.
Brown is charged with two counts each of assault and battery stemming from the Jan. 6 fight outside of Hollis’ residence on Snowberry Court.
A weapons allegation for the use of the knife is attached to the counts relating to Luhrs and all the charges carry the enhancement that the victims suffered great bodily injury.
Luhrs suffered a punctured colon and spent nine days in the hospital, while Hollis had to have three surgeries and two metal plates inserted to correct a shattered jaw.
If convicted on all counts and allegations, Brown faces prison time and he could be given a strike, according to Deputy District Attorney Fanny Yu.
Witnesses testified Luhrs was confronted by four men, including the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend whom he had an argument with shortly before the brawl began.
After fighting off three of the men, Luhrs said Brown came at him and when the two men clashed, that’s when he felt “as if the wind had been knocked out of him.”
At about that time, Hollis, who didn’t know any of the men in the fight, said he’d gone out to break up the skirmish. He said he approached Brown from behind, grabbed him on the shoulder and was immediately punched in the jaw by a defensive Brown.
Hollis testified Brown apologized to him, saying he thought Hollis was one of Luhrs’ friends. The defendant then fled the scene, he said.
Both identified Brown in court, as well as in a photo lineup; however, neither victim saw a knife.
Defense attorney Daniel Greene argued that his client was the victim of mistaken identity.
He said the defendant’s friend, a man with similar attributes — tattoos and piercings — actually assaulted the two victims.
Greene pointed to Luhrs’ police statement that describes the assailant’s build as slightly taller and stockier than Brown’s.
A black hat, like the one Luhrs said his attacker was wearing, is seen being worn by the defendant’s friend in pictures recovered from a camera found on the scene.
Further, Greene said the police investigation was insufficient, since a photo lineup that included Brown’s friend was never given to the victims or any witnesses.
Following the hearing, Brown, who is free on $25,000 bail, declined to comment on the case. His trial is scheduled for Dec. 15.