View Full Version : Pendleton Marines Arrested for Long Beach Murder

10-12-07, 06:47 AM
Pendleton Marines Arrested for Long Beach Murder
One Marine Veteran of Iraq

LONG BEACH, Oct. 11, 2007 (KABC-TV) - Three Marines from Camp Pendleton are accused of murdering a Long Beach man and leaving his body in an apartment.

A maintenance man in an apartment building found David Pettigrew dead in one of the units there. Pettigrew was shot to death.

Residents say that night before -- that was a Sunday night a month ago -- they heard a pop in the building, but they did not associate that noise with a gunshot, so they did not call police.

The 22-year-old Pettigrew grew up in the neighborhood and graduated in 2003 from Wilson High School up the street. He played on the school's championship water polo team. His family says he excelled in sports and loved to build things and had started a framing business.

Now, a month later, a big surprise. Long Beach Police have arrested three suspects, and all three are active-duty Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton. They have been charged with first-degree murder, attempted burglary and attempted robbery.

Police have told the Long Beach Telegram that the victim knew the suspects.

At least one of the Marines has served in Iraq and was injured there.

The three are identified as 19-year-old Trevor Glenn Landers, 23-year-old Ramon Hernandez, and 20-year-old Anthony Red Vigeant.

A neighbor who watched Pettigrew's body being carried out of the apartment building says he can't believe this happened.

"I've never seen anything done like that," said neighbor Jim Hawthorne.

"So this is unusual for you neighborhood?"

"Quite. Very unusual," replied Hawthorne.

The Marine Corps says it is cooperating with Long Beach authorities. They say it was Ramon Hernandez who served in Iraq. He did two tours there in 2004 and 2006.

He and the other two Marines sit in a Long Beach jail cell, charged with murder, attempted burglary and attempted robbery. They will be arraigned on those charges later this month


10-12-07, 07:06 AM
Marines allegedly tried to reclaim belongings, killed friend
By Wendy Thomas Russell, Staff writer
Long Beach Press Telegram
Article Launched:10/11/2007 02:48:36 PM PDT

The three U.S. Marines charged with the capital murder of a former water polo player broke into the victim's home to take what they claimed were their own belongings and then shot the athlete once in the upper body, a Long Beach police commander said Thursday.

David Pettigrew, 22, was found dead Sept. 10 in his Long Beach apartment, and a three-week investigation led to the three young Marines - including an Iraq war veteran - stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego.

Details of the complicated investigation have been unusually slim, but Cmdr. Laura Farinella confirmed Thursday that the dispute preceding the murder focused on items later found in Pettigrew's apartment.

The suspects forced their way through the victim's front door "to retrieve whatever they felt was theirs," Farinella said. "They did not get it."

The three Marines have been identified as Ramon Hernandez, 23, Trevor Glenn Landers, 19, and Anthony Red Vigeant, 20. Hernandez recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, where he was injured, Farinella said. All three were assigned to the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton when the crime occurred.

Camp Pendleton officials have declined this week to return phone calls and a written request seeking comment.

Hernandez, Landers and Vigeant have been charged with murder, burglary and attempted robbery, with the special allegation that the murder was committed during the commission of a burglary. That allegation could make them eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Farinella, who oversees the detectives handling the case, declined Thursday to specify what the disputed items were or how exactly the victim had become acquainted with the suspects. She also declined to release further details about the crime or to single out the gunman by name, citing the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation.

Detectives, she said, "are still trying to pick through the weeds and verify certain things for their case." There is no evidence the suspects or victim were involved in any previous criminal activity.

Pettigrew, who played water polo for Wilson High School, is believed to have died in the late evening Sept. 9 at his apartment complex in the 600 block of Temple Avenue. Neighbors reported hearing a gunshot but opted not to call police that night; his body was found the following morning by a maintenance crew.

Wendy Thomas Russell can be reached at wendy.russell@presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1272.