Defendant in Pastor's Son's Murder Curses at Judge

Marvin Justin Black cursed at the judge following the jurist's refusal to dismiss charges of murder and attempted murder against the defendant.

This article was edited at 6:50 p.m. Oct. 18, 2012 to add information.

A defendant accused in the fatal stabbing of a pastor’s son at a Temecula bar shouted curses at a superior court judge Thursday, following the judge’s rejection of a motion to dismiss charges.

Marvin Justin Black, 29, – along with James Wing Fung, 33, and Matthew Basler, 34, is on trial for murder in Ryan Armstrong’s death and attempted murder in the stabbing of Joel Ross.

They also face assault charges and all face sentence-enhancing prison prior and strike allegations.

The men -- all of them are from San Diego -- all face 60 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Fung is additionally charged with trying to intimidate a witness.

Armstrong was stabbed about 10:45 p.m. Dec. 26, 2008; his friend Ross was seriously injured, also suffering stab wounds.

The attack took place at ET Sports Lounge in Temecula.

To read more about the case, please click here.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez Thursday had just denied a defense motion to dismiss charges against the defendants when the outburst occurred.

Black’s attorney, Joshua Knight, asked the judge to dismiss charges of murder and attempted murder against his client.

“The people have put forth this theory of aiding and abetting as some sort of conspiracy,” Knight told the court.

He went on to say that his client was never involved in any plan to knife either of the men.

In the bar, said Knight, the defendants may have been planning to “jump” Armstrong following an argument but there was no mention of fighting.

According to Knight, Black got out of the truck only because his friends were being attacked and he did not encourage any stabbing.

In handing down his ruling, Bermudez pointed out that Black’s girlfriend had testified that she was so upset about the stabbing attack that “she ejected” the defendant from her home.

“I think there’s more than enough evidence in this case to make its way to the jurors,” Bermudez said.

That was when Black began shouting expletives at Bermudez.

Black yelled that the same night the woman allegedly ejected him from her apartment, he had been intimate with her.

The defendant used a vernacular word to describe the intimacy.

As deputies hustled him out of the courtroom, Black continued to yell profanities directed at the judge, telling the judge what he could do to Black and calling him names.

Jurors were not present when the outburst occurred.

The motions for dismissal from all three attorneys came following the prosecution’s resting its case.

Fung's attorney, Karen Lockhart, cited an insufficiency of evidence.

"There is no evidence that Mr. Fung stabbed anyone," Lockhart told the judge.

The defense contends that the reason Basler drove the truck back around the bar and into the parking lot where the attack occurred was because he and his friends spotted a CHP cruiser and did not want to be stopped and prosecuted for DUI.

As Basler drove back into the parking lot, slowing because people were milling about, someone threw an object at Basler's truck, breaking his mirror, his attorney William Wolfe said.

When Basler and Fung got out of the truck, they were swarmed by a large group of people and were only defending themselves, according to Lockhart.

"They were overwhelmed and they were taken to the ground," Lockhart said.

"This was an act of self defense," she said.

A witness for the defense testified Wednesday that Armstrong did not seem to want a fight.

Kathryn Bordelon was the first defense witness to take the stand; she was called by Karen Lockhart, attorney for Fung.

Following a brief opening statement by Basler's attorney Wolfe -- he had deferred his opening at the beginning of trial -- Bordelon testified that following an argument over someone in Armstrong's group putting a beer cup on the pool table - angering Fung's group, everything seemed to cool down.

It did not appear that Armstrong wanted to fight with Basler’s group.

Bordelon said that Armstrong told their friend Chris Martin that whatever he decided to do about the cup and the subsequent harsh words that he would support his actions.

Armstrong told Martin to "'just say the words,'" testified Bordelon.

"I don't believe from that statement that he was going to fight them,” Bordelon testified.

“I never heard him say that he wanted to fight him (Basler),” Bordelon said.

“I just heard him (Armstrong) say that he would back him (Martin) 100 percent.”

After Armstrong spoke with the group, everything seemed settled, she testified.

“It looked like they had talked out whatever was wrong and it looked like the situation was diffused,” she said.

Later she saw them talking again.

The defense questioned Bordelon about a statement she made to investigators.

She had asked Martin that night the question, "why are you going to fight?

"Fighting is stupid."

But Bordelon maintained that she was just making a statement about possible outcomes, not that she believed that Martin was becoming aggressive.

“I figured that maybe at some point it might escalate into a fight.”

Bordelon said she also saw Armstrong get tackled as he walked to the back door on his way out for a smoke.

keepn it real October 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The whole thing is really sad one second of insanity changed so many lifes forever...Mothers Father brothers sisters grandparents friends...People react so fast to prove somthing and now they have to do the time for the crime. It will give them along time to think about what they did that night. And who won the fight NO ONE..stupid. just sayin
Adrian October 19, 2012 at 06:03 AM
"Lord Jesus Christ"; how quaint.
AWags October 19, 2012 at 10:02 PM
I knew Ryan too and you are right...Ryan was a peacekeeper. He protected and backed his friends no matter what, but I knew most of the people there that night and non of them would have been aggressive. They always just wanted to have a good time. RIP Rasm...love and miss you.
LHJ October 20, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Unfortunately, the majority of people in prison probably spend more time being angry with the judge or their attorney or someone they victimized, than they do ever thinking about the actions that took them before the judge. That's one reason so many of them (if they get out) return to prison. They don't learn and aren't interested in learning from the consequences of their actions. I agree, stupid.. however, in the case of the defendant that cursed at the judge, stupidity doesn't seem to be a part time thing. He clearly proved to the person who will do the sentencing, just how easily he will escalate to angry outbursts when things aren't going his way. Not a good way to prove one isn't likely to be involved in something like this.
LHJ October 20, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Believer, define "our", "justice" and "judgement".


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »