Still No Verdict For Men Accused Of Killing Wildomar Pastor's Son

The panel went home Thursday without reaching verdicts and will not resume their deliberations until Monday.

Jurors Thursday ended their third day of deliberations without reaching verdicts in the trial of three men accused of murdering a Wildomar pastor's son and wounding his friend.

Matthew Alexis Basler, 34, Marvin Justin Black, 29, and James Wing Fung, 33, could each face more than 60 years in prison if convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons allegations in the Dec. 26, 2008, slaying of 22-year-old Ryan Joshua Armstrong and the stabbing of his friend, Joel Ross.

Fung is additionally charged with attempting to dissuade a witness.

The jury was ordered back to court Monday to resume deliberations.

The panel asked for a readback of testimony on Wednesday, and on Thursday, asked to see some items entered as evidence during the nearly month-long trial.

The stabbings occurred outside ET's Sports Lounge in Temecula about 10:45 p.m. Dec. 26, 2008. Armstrong died at a hospital; Ross recovered from his wounds.

According to prosecution testimony, Armstrong was the peacemaker when an argument broke out earlier in the evening.

Witness testimony indicated that after things had seemingly settled down following an argument over abeer cup placed on a pool table, Armstrong was dragged to the back door by one or more of the defendants.

The defendants were thrown out but later drove around to the alley

The prosecution contends that the defendants jumped out of a truck and viciously attacked Armstrong and his friend.

The defense maintains that the defendants were swarmed by a large group and merely fought to free themselves of the melee.

To read more about the case, please click here.

Pastor Ron Armstrong of Cornerstone Community Church in Wildomar is the father of Armstrong.

calistar962 November 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
If you had sat through the trial, seen the evidence and heard the testimony given, you might come to the same conclusions as these posters. The District Attorney was able to prove the state's case against these defendants beyond reasonable doubt. They are guilty and everyone that was there in court knew it. As a former juror on a homicide trial, all the evidence must be reviewed. Men's lives are at stake and the responsiblity of a juror is to not make light of this. There are so many charges against all three defendant's, it will take them time to get through them all. I have faith that the jurors will come to the obvious conclusion of guilty.
Anthony November 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Justice will be served.
SA November 02, 2012 at 05:11 PM
This is a no brainer GUILTY … The jurors are just thinking that are making a difference but they are only prolonging the sentencing hearing … Quite frankly bring back the firing squads.
The Teller of Truth November 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Marfa you're so wise.
The Teller of Truth November 02, 2012 at 05:53 PM
So sage.....
mailman November 02, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Their has been alot of stabbings in riverside county latley particulary in the temecula region whats the law on defending from a stabber can an individual defend himself/herself with the same weapon comment please?
Lepimpster November 02, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I think what really is happening is the jurors are hurting financially so they want to get the extra Big Money paycheck that the court systems pay out each day for being a juror
Brenda November 02, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I am just sick wondering the same thing CC. :/
Brenda November 02, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Very true suggestions Cal and Martha. I presume its that this case is so heated for this whole City that everyone waits patiently. Remembering back on my jury times no one was waiting for the verdicts except for maybe family members so a few hours or a couple days to go over evidence wasnt even noticed.
Susan Jamison November 02, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Has anyone considered that this was 14 on 3 bar fight??
Constant Comment November 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Marfa, try not to write anything about me...if you agree or not. There is no "warning" in my simple question. Don't jump on my train in the future.......}~(
Constant Comment November 02, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Marfa, do you have some sort of adhd problem? }~(
keepn it real November 03, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Sad for the family the ones who lost a loved one and the familes of the ones who took alife no wins here...
Brenda November 03, 2012 at 07:11 AM
IMO, (if I understand the question here Mailman) if someone is attacking me I should be able to use as much or more force to get him stopped. Obviously with me being a woman I cannot over take a man with a knife, so my only other alternative would be to shoot him. The same rules as law enforcement, however we are not allowed to carry loaded guns, but anyone can carry most types of knives. Sooo..... what do we do? With the two stabbings of women in the last 6 months, thank god people outside intervened. The family who had the 18 yr old guy break into their house, and he stabbed the daughter, the boyfriend to death, and the girls father, left the mom who confronted him, and then ran off. There is no way to really fight a person, a strong one man or woman, with a knife apparently as we have seen. None of those people had guns handy either which most of us don't in our houses for safety reasons, nor out on a bike ride or jog. Unfortunately we are sitting ducks Mailman unless its in your house and you are fast enough to get to a gun. :/ We can pray that the crime that rose in 2011, and then since the beginning of 2012 has been unbelieveable, makes a fast turn around and gets us back to the peaceful Temecula, Murrieta, and areas we used to enjoy.
Brenda November 03, 2012 at 07:21 AM
No they don't keepn. However with their smug faces you would think the accused think they have won something. Didn't I read somewhere that they were part of white supremecy group here in the area? Thus one of the reasons the investigators believed that was the reason for the murder of a pastors child? I might have read this as someone comments or in an article and I definately do not remember if it was conjecture or true. Just cant come up with an answer as to why 3 young men would kill 1 man, for no apparent or obvious reason. In front of witnesses you know? With their entire life ahead of them. But then looking back over some of the murders this year there definately does not need to be a reason.
Jason EHS '99 November 03, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Was this murder deliberate? Or accident? Did they goto the bar to kill someone? Or was circumstances involved? Was the victim intoxicated? Or sober? Was the suspects intoxicated? Or sober? These are just some of the questions the jurors must ask themselves before deciding how the suspects will spend the rest of there lives Now, just reading the news articles on this manner id come to the conclusion that they are 100% guilty and should indeed pay for ending that mans short life, but, BUT, i was not a juror nor was i in attendance during the trial. I hope you dont think these jurors like having to decide someones fate, regardless if the suspectsare guilty or not
Susan Oleary November 05, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The details that didn't make it to court (such as the facebook/myspace notice that went out from the group who say they were attacked...telling all their friends to come down and we'll 'kill those 3 guys') are part of the problem. No one went to the bar to kill someone...it was a bar fight gone horribly wrong. 13 on 3 will never be a fair fight!
Brenda November 05, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Susan, were the 2 victims of stabbings a part of the facebook comments about this scheduled fight? Did these three have an issue with this group before and this fight was being scheduled to "fight it out"? So otherwords the 3 came with weapons and had the intention of going into a fight, and in that fight in the back of the bar it was those 3 against 13 or so guys and in that melee the pastor's son was killed and the other injured? I am curious as I was in and out of the hospital when this happened and never read a complete story on this case. This is the first I had heard about what you are writing here. I had heard that it had alot to do with these 3 guys being white supremisists, which I don't think I ever ended up reading in the paper.
Brenda November 05, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I will answer that one Jason. No I dont think that at all. Having been on juries as most of us have, it is not easy or fun. Cases I was on had ALOT of information to absorb, thinking about witness's we find more crediable then others(this part is tough), deciding if that person is innocent, guilty of all or some of the charges. Even a small case, like stealing a case of beer and pulling the store owner by the window of his car for a few miles could end up a big case because the accused has a long criminal record and being found guilty for the beer and felony assault charges could put him away for a long long time. It did in this case. But I definately did NOT find any enjoyment out of that case or others. It was interesting to me for the law, legal aspects of the trial, but otherwise I would rather be in the audience.
Susan Oleary November 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
There was no intent to fight on the part of the 3. It was a bar fight with no prior 'notice'. Not white supremisists...it's been AMAZING to see the 'spin' , good thing you didn't see the paper, but then, you have comments on this line of posting that convicts them without knowing the facts. I trust the justice system, it's all we've got in this country. If the jury finds them guilty, then justice is done. if not, I wonder if it will be seen the same way. The 3 probably carried knives (as lots of guys do), as did some of the other group (also not reported) including an off duty cop who had a gun on him and had quit hanging out with the the group including the deceased due to their propensity to fight....also not reported.... One of the 3 stabbed his way out of a choke hold where he was losing consciousness...again, it was a tragic bar fight. But 13 on 3 is never fair!
AWags November 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Susan...were you there that night? Do you know either of the groups?
Pac man November 05, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Isn't it true to say that Basler and Fung have assaulted other prisoners whilst awaiting trial. Certainly not Angels are they ? I have to agree that I'm struggling to see how Black could be charged with murder based upon what I've read. As I understand it apart from the initial outburset in the cup on table scenario I haven't read any evidence that would convince me to convict him of murder. Basler and Fung different story should be put away for a long time. If Black is being found guilty based upon being in the Truck with them, what about the two women who were also in the Truck but were prosecution witnesses ?
Susan Oleary November 05, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I do know one of the '3'. And it's very true that while in custody there have been assaults. No, not angels for sure. But do they tell you that the assaults while in jail are against child molesters, etc. And that the 'code' in jail is that if you are in the same cell with one and you don't exact 'justice' the other prisoners will take you out? as what happened with Basler and he was hospitalized for a week. (and the cops know that when they put them into the cells...sort of a set up) It's difficult all the way around, but a bar fight being spun as 'premeditated' is absurd. I believe in our justice system, even when broken. I don't want criminals on the street, even if I happen to know them!
AWags November 05, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Susan, I know the other group of men (the victims) and I hung around them all the time. I went out with them all the time. And Ryan was like a brother to me. I had never seen one of them fight or try to pick a fight with anyone. They always tried to be peace makers and have a good time with everyone around. Ryan was such an amazing man...always having a friends back but always trying to be friends with everyone. Basler was the aggressor all night pulling Ryan out of the bar to fight him after they "made amends". And tell me one thing why would Basler drive his truck into the alley where Ryan was unless he planned to do something, which is exactly what he did. Ryan never carried weapons on him. He never was a person for fighting he was a person for peace...always. Basler was wanting to fight that night...as stated by witnesses that were in Basler's group not the other group. Basler was the aggressor. Ryan was the one trying to smooth things over. Look the bottom line is...the 3 made bad decisions that night, and Ryan paid his life for it. They took an amazing man from this world for a stupid beef they had with him and his group. There is no excuse for that. They deserve to spend the rest of there days in jail for what they did. This was no accident. You dont pull a knife unless you intend to kill someone. I pray justice will be served.
Susan Oleary November 05, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I am so sorry that you lost Ryan and for the family and friends of his. I am praying for justice in all this as well. EVERYONE made bad decisions that night. I'm praying with you, as I said, I don't want 'bad guys' out on the street either. I would wonder, tho, if you had someone choking you into unconsciousness if you would do what you could to save your life. None of us knows that until we are faced with it and I pray we never are. I trust God will bring his Justice and Mercy about through the jury.
Pac man November 05, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Susan to be honest I hope Basler and Fung get what is coming to them, and I hope that that is a long sentance and a very uncomfortable life inside. Their past does not lie with both having multiple brushes with the law before. Basler actions after the stabbing speaks volumes, large sums of money in his possession, trying to sell his truck quickly etc. So to be honest I hope he gets locked away and his butt kicked whilst inside. he has proven to be a bully on the outside and so he has it coming to him. However per my earlier post I am not sure that Black deserves a life term based upon what I have read and heard about the case. If he deserves it why not the women also in the truck ? Yes he exchanged some words inside the bar with the other group but he did not go out armed with a knife and unless there is something I haven't read or heard I think a 60 year convictiion for him would be harsh. That said I do not profess to know all the facts.
Hillary November 06, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I had no idea about this case before I heard about it in court.And I am very sad that this family has to live without this man. In saying that, ....I was in jury selection for 5 days and on the last day was finally released. I remember thinking this trail may be hard for the jury to convict. They are asking for murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy. The defense kept saying remember, we know someone has died, there has been a homicide, but was it murder?She kept reading the definition of murder- premeditated killing of a human. I wasnt there so I dont know if thats what they did. I have only read what has been posted here, and was not witness to this fight.But, I do know that the jury picked could not be any better. Only one knew or had heard of the case before, half are professionals and half are stay at home parents. And everyone has been put through a lot. I was there for 5 days of jury selection!!! We waited, in silence and were taking everything very seriously, because it was such an important task for both sides and families. Whatever the outcome I know it will be a very hard decision for these people. They are LOCAL hard working people who we are in contact with regularly. I hope if they come across this article they know that they have support.
AWags November 06, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Susan...He was only getting choked out because he was pulled off of stabbing Ryan. So in that case he deserved getting choked. And no I wouldnt stab anyone even in that situation as I do not cary a knife on me looking for fights. How do you pull a knife out of your pocket while being choked unconscience unless you already had your knife out. And why would you have your knife out unless you were already using it or planning on using it. I was not there that night...but I know the group well very well. And they never fight let alone jump anyone or have problems with the law. Unlike the three. I feel for those threes family as it does suck to have to watch your son, brother, nephew etc. go through this. But justice does need to be served. I pray these 3 can someday see what they did and seek forgiveness with God, because only he can save someone. And these 3 need saved.
Shawn Burgess November 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Miss you everyday, Ry. Justice is coming soon, I can feel it.
devonsmith372 November 09, 2012 at 11:32 PM
SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM. They have no place here.


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