La Jolla crime report

Trial ordered for man who allegedly shot former business partner

A biotech executive accused of wounding his estranged wife’s brother and a former business partner in separate shootings in La Jolla last year must stand trial on attempted murder and other charges, a judge ruled Jan. 13.

Hans Petersen, 49, faces up to 96 years to life in prison if convicted of the Sept. 18 shootings, said Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund.

Petersen’s girlfriend, Jeanne Henry, testified during the Jan. 13 preliminary hearing that the defendant seemed “agitated” and “focused” as he worked on his computer about 12:30 a.m. the morning of the attacks. Henry said she tried repeatedly to get Petersen to come to bed, but he said he had to finish an e-mail.

Henry told defense attorney Marc Carlos that Petersen had been drinking and seemed very angry. Henry said Petersen finally came to bed about 1:30 a.m., but she later woke up to find him gone.

At Petersen’s arraignment last year, Maund said the defendant had two intended “targets.”

About 3 a.m., Petersen fired his gun into the master bedroom of 53-year-old Steven Dowdy, a UC San Diego researcher and former business associate, Maund alleged.

Dowdy and his wife were sleeping when Petersen allegedly started firing, hitting Mr. Dowdy in the lower back.

About four hours later, Petersen allegedly broke into a home on Cottontail Lane and fired randomly until he found his second “intended target,” the 43-year-old brother of Petersen’s estranged wife, according to Maund.

Ronald Fletcher was shot in the stomach but was able to disarm the defendant, Maund said.

An emergency room physician, Dr. Mike Nielsen, testified that he was driving home from work last Sept. 18 about 5 a.m. in the same La Jolla neighborhood when he noticed a person walking very quickly and “suspiciously” among some trees and bushes.

As Nielsen rolled down the window to say something, the person — identified as Petersen — stepped out from behind a tree and pointed a gun at him, the witness said. He drove home and later phoned 911.

Police said the relationship between Petersen and Dowdy began to sour when Petersen lost his job and blamed Dowdy, and the suspect allegedly targeted Fletcher because of the role he played in his sister’s separation from Petersen.

Judge Leo Valentine Jr. ruled that enough evidence was presented for Petersen to stand trial on three counts of premeditated attempted murder and charges of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and first-degree burglary.

A status conference was set for June 13 and trial for Sept. 15.

--City News Service

Man pleads guilty to robbing La Jolla banks

A man who admitted his involvement in six bank heists — including a failed holdup near University Towne Centre in which an accomplice was shot by a security guard — pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 13 to a half-dozen robbery charges.

Robert Anthony Hodge faces a maximum 29 years in state prison when he is sentenced March 21 by Judge Peter Deddeh.

Hodge, 28, was charged with Laura Elshire and Casey Allen Wilson with holding up a Wells Fargo bank branch June 11, 2013 near La Jolla Village Drive, during which Wilson was shot in the face and arm.

Hodge confessed to San Diego police robbery Detective DeWayne Glazewski that he also held up several other banks, including a Wells Fargo bank on Del Mar Heights Road on Jan. 3, 2013, and a Wells Fargo branch with Wilson near La Jolla Village May 7, 2013.

Crime Report

Jan. 1

Assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm

, 6900 block La Jolla Boulevard, 2:25 a.m.

Other sex crime

, 2800 block La Jolla Village Drive, 5:10 p.m.

Jan. 2

Vehicle break-in/theft

, 9600 block La Jolla Farms Road, 6 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft

, 8500 block El Paseo Grande, 9 a.m.


, 7600 block Girard Avenue, 3:20 p.m.

Battery with serious bodily injury

, 2800 block Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, 6 p.m.

Jan. 6

Vehicle break-in/theft

, 7200 block Draper Avenue, 12:30 p.m.

Residential burglary

, 8600 block Cliffridge Avenue, 1:30 p.m.

Jan. 7

Vehicle break-in/theft

, 8100 block Camino del Sol, 2 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft

, 7400 block Olivetas Avenue, 2:45 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft

, 1100 block Coast Blvd., 3 p.m.

Jan. 9

Residential burglary

, 5400 block La Jolla Boulevard, 8 a.m.

Residential burglary

, 1600 block La Jolla Rancho Road, 7 p.m.

Jan. 10

Malicious mischief/vandalism

, 500 block Sea Lane, 9:45 p.m.

Jan. 12

Residential burglary

, 1600 block Bellevue Avenue, 9 p.m.

Residential burglary

, 1600 block Bellevue Avenue, 9 p.m.

Jan. 13

Elder abuse

, 500 block Marine Street, 4:57 p.m. u