EL CAJON - A preliminary hearing was scheduled Monday for a man accused of beating an elderly El Cajon jewelry store owner with the blunt end of a hatchet during a robbery.
Travis Scott Kelley, 24, of San Diego is charged with attempted murder, robbery, elder abuse and various other felonies. A judge will decide at the end of the preliminary hearing whether there's enough evidence to order the defendant to stand trial.
El Cajon police allege Kelley first attempted to buy merchandise from the 75-year-old owner of Hamlin Jewelers at 2234 Fletcher Parkway just before 3:30 p.m. Jan. 22. Kelley's credit card was denied during the incident, and Kelley became enraged, police said.
He pulled out a hatchet and beat the shopkeeper with the hammer end of the hatchet, then stole a small caliber handgun the business owner had pulled in self-defense, according to El Cajon police Lt. Walt Miller.
Kelley then allegedly ran from the store and jumped into a waiting Toyota 4Runner, allegedly driven by an accomplice, Ali Armeen Toombs, 21, of La Mesa.
Arriving police found the wounded shopkeeper, and his handgun appeared to have been the only item stolen during the crime, Miller said.
El Cajon police Lt. Frank La Haye said the victim's injuries were more severe than originally thought and he was hospitalized with stable vital signs.
On Jan. 23, detectives stopped the 4Runner based on witness statements and a partial license plate number and arrested Toombs for suspicion of robbery and conspiracy to commit a felony, La Haye said.
Detectives identified Kelley as the suspected hatchet-wielding assailant and with the help of the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force, he was arrested on Jan. 24 in Ocean Beach.
Kelley was being held at the George Bailey Detention Facility in lieu of $1 million bail, according to jail records.