Homeless man pleads not guilty to killing of Oceanside retiree during burglary

Posted at 4:12 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 19:21:52-04

VISTA (CNS) - A homeless man accused of killing a 77-year-old retiree during a burglary at the victim's Oceanside beach house plead not guilty Wednesday at the courthouse in Vista.

Carey Lamont Reid Jr., 21, was arrested last Sunday in connection with the slaying of John Roth on Aug. 14.

DNA evidence obtained from the crime scene led homicide detectives to identify Reid as the perpetrator, Oceanside Police spokesman Tom Bussey said. Reid is known to be a transient who lives in Oceanside.

RELATED: Arrest made in death of Oceanside man

Officers were called to the 500 block of North Coast Highway on Sunday for a person lying on the ground in a parking lot, Bussey said. Officers arrived, identified the man as Reid and took him into custody.

The parking lot is located directly behind the residence where Roth was found dead, Bussey said.

A back door was found open, but there were no signs of forced entry or a struggle at Roth's home in the 500 block of North Tremont Street when he was found by his wife shortly before 7 a.m. on Aug. 14, Detective Erik Ellgard said.

RELATED: Friends drink final toast to slain Oceanside Vietnam veteran

Roth suffered two stab wounds to the neck while sitting on the couch, said Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe.

Zui Pang, 41, had last seen her husband alive about 16 hours before she returned home, Ellgard said.

Missing from the victim's home were some of the couple's possessions, including costume jewelry, a wooden jewelry box, an Asus laptop computer, an LG cellphone and Pang's wedding ring.

Four days later, an acquaintance of the victim found Pang's stolen purse, photos of the couple and other personal effects of theirs dumped in an alley off North Ditmar Street, a few blocks from their home.