Grandmother of Accused Liquor Store Killer's Victim Mourns

The grandmother of a victim allegedly killed by a man accused of gunning down a Temecula liquor store clerk in a separate incident testified today.

The last time Jimmie Lee Cunningham saw her grandson, she was telling him to be careful. Somebody was shot near their home days earlier, she recalled today.

Within the hour, he was dead of a gunshot to the head.

He was killed by the same man who gunned down a Temecula liquor store clerk months later, a prosecutor told a jury Monday.

The Temecula killing was one in a string of murders and robberies committed by Marcus Fletcher, 27, of San Diego, said prosecutor Sam Kaloustian.

Kedran Howard, 23, Cunningham’s grandson, was killed near his home in January, 2005.  The same gun was used to kill Rafi Ibrahim, of Temecula, in April of that year, the prosecutor said.

The ballistics evidence was inconclusive, and nobody saw the San Diego killing happen, said defense attorney Michael Duncan.

Cunningham took the stand and told a story with a wobbling voice about the last time she saw Howard, occasionally dabbing her eyes with tissue.

She cared for Howard, his sister and his cousin in their San Diego home. The last time she saw him, he helped bring groceries into the house.

He then put on a blue jacket with an embroidered picture of Bugs Bunny – a gang symbol in their neighborhood, Kaloustian said – and left for a walk.

She told him to be careful, because a shooting happened nearby days before, she said. “That was the last time I saw him.”

Later, several teenaged girls came to the door and said somebody was shot nearby. Cunningham rushed to the scene, but was blocked by an officer. She asked numerous questions to figure out whether it was her grandson, but the officer said he couldn’t say, Cunningham recalled.

Her grandson never came home, and the police never called her to tell her, she said.

At least four other people testified today to hearing the gunshots, each saying they did not see the defendant.

One witness, Terreal Shegog, said he saw a car that matched the description of Fletcher’s. “I saw a white car run a stop sign and shoot down the street,” he said.

Fletcher was accused of robbing Rancho Liquor on Old Town Front Street with Dale Dante Thomas, 26, of Temecula in April, 2005. Thomas struck a plea deal and is scheduled for sentencing on Friday.

They were charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for the fatal robbery. If convicted, Fletcher faces the death penalty.

To read more about the robbery, .

Darnesha Walker June 09, 2011 at 05:15 AM
I am the sister of the above mentioned victim Kedran Howard, it pained me greatly that my grandmother had to relive the unfortunate tragic loss of her grandson in front of a courtroom... in the hopes of justice for her Kedran, my hope and prayer is that justice is served.Kedran was an amazing young man,so happy vibrant and full of promise. I miss everyday. I would like to thanks the author of this article for giving my Grandmother a voice and painting my brother as a human being and not just another nameless faceless victim.
Peter Surowski June 09, 2011 at 06:15 AM
No problem, Darnesha. Please send my condolences to your grandmother. I can't imagine your family's pain.
JanetteMcCormack September 02, 2011 at 07:08 AM
I cannot say to much, but Marcus Fletcher was also an accomplice to my 18 year old granddaughter who was murdered in 2003 by his friend Bennet Douglas. He is serving life without parole, but I know Marcus Fletcher was somewhat involved, what a bastard. I am sorry I just cannot believe he went on to killing more people, we should eliminate him. He deserves to die, not living a good life in prison.
JanetteMcCormack September 02, 2011 at 07:11 AM
I want to know everything that happens to him.
JanetteMcCormack September 02, 2011 at 07:13 AM
I am so sorry I know exactly how your mother feels, been there done that, so sorry, It really hurts. God Bless you


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