A judge dismissed a murder charge March 16 against Daniel Christopher Allen in the shooting death of James Owens near Alpine on grounds of insufficient evidence.
District Attorney communications director Steve Walker said March 17 the DA’s office is reviewing the decision over whether to re-file the charge against Allen, 50, in the Nov. 21, 2020, shooting of Owens, 31.
El Cajon Superior Court Judge John Thompson heard testimony from sheriff’s detectives in Allen’s preliminary hearing before dismissing the case.
Allen had been in jail since the shooting, but was released after the ruling. Allen is free on $10,000 bond involving an unrelated burglary case.
A prosecutor can re-file a murder charge only once after a judge dismisses it.
Detectives told the judge about their interviews with witnesses who claimed they heard Owens yelling threats and that he attempted to run Allen down with his motorcycle. They were described as friends in the hearing.
The 10:30 p.m. shooting took place in the 6000 block of Stallion Oaks Road which is southeast of Dehesa Road and northeast of the Sycuan Casino. Allen lived nearby and Owens lived in a trailer not far away.
Detective Robert Powers testified he interviewed witnesses who said Owens talked of shooting people and “burning down the mountain.” Owens was angry at discovering that some dogs had defecated on his property, according to testimony.
Owens vandalized the car of the dogs’ owner. Her windshield was broken, said Powers.
Allen told Owens to get out of the area after he vandalized Allen’s motorcycle, said Powers, according to witnesses he interviewed.
Owens swung a hammer at Allen before the shooting, according to witnesses, said Powers.
Detective Jacob Wilson testified that Owens was shot in the chest and the round punctured his lung. He was also shot in the back, he added.
The weapon used was a .22 caliber revolver, said Wilson.
An acquaintance of Owens’ drove him about a mile and a half from the shooting site before the car was stopped by deputies. They found him suffering from gunshot wounds and is believed to have died in the car.