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San Mateo Murder Suspect to Be Released

Gregory Elarms had previously faced a special circumstance murder charge before the case was dismissed.

The man prosecutors say fatally shot another man outside Hillsdale Shopping Center in 2010 was to be released from jail Tuesday following the dismissal of the murder charges against him last year.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Craig Parsons granted release to Gregory Elarms, 60, on his promise to appear at future court dates, which means he won't have to pay bail, the San Mateo County Times reported Tuesday. It wasn't clear what time he would be out, according to the Times.

"We opposed the decision," District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the Times. "We continue to believe he killed Mr. Lewis. We are doing everything we can to hold him accountable."

Elarms had previously faced a special circumstance murder charge in connection with the June 9, 2010, killing, in which Elarms allegedly shot his acquaintence David Lewis once in the stomach with a .44-caliber handgun, fatally wounding him.

Jury selection for the murder trial was under way when, on Nov. 6, 2012, Judge Stephen Hall presented a written ruling dismissing the murder charge and charging Elarms was a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to the court, San Mateo police had obtained Elarms' confession to the murder in violation of his Miranda rights, and thus the confession was inadmissible at trial.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, however, said the district attorney's office believes the decision was "erroneous" and that Elarms' confession was properly obtained by the San Mateo Police Department, and prosecutors would appeal the judge's decision.

Elarms, who pleaded not guilty to the murder in October 2012, had previously been found incompetent to stand trial and was even sent to a state hospital following his arrest.

Following the dismissal of the murder charge, however, Elarms remained in custody on a separate case charging him with three counts of felony possession of weapons in the county jail in connection with the three "shanks."

Prosecutors say the "shanks" were a sharpened toothbrush, a sharpened spork and two sharpened pencils tied together to work as a stabbing instrument.

Elarms pleaded no contest in January to three counts of felony possession of weapons in connection with that case.

Click here to read the full story in the San Mateo County Times.



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