Three Found Guilty in Temecula Death of Wildomar Pastor's Son

James Fung, Marvin Black and Matthew Basler all face 80 years to life when sentenced next year.

A jury Tuesday found three San Diego men guilty of murder in the stabbing death of a Wildomar pastor's son outside a Temecula bar.

James Fung, Marvin Black and Matthew Basler all face 80 years to life in prison when they are sentenced in the death of Ryan Armstrong, 22, whose father leads the congregation at Cornerstone Community Church.

They were also found guilty of attempted murder in the stabbing of Armstrong's friend, Joel Ross.

The jury did not find the men guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, opting instead to convict the three on a simple assault charge each.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez set sentencing for Jan. 11.

The verdict came after about four full and two partial days of deliberations, questions, readback of testimony and even a request to examine evidence.

Jurors indicated they had verdicts before the lunch recess, court records indicate.

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 a beer 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.

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

A. Juror November 13, 2012 at 05:36 AM
I hope I can help you understand. We had to listen to all the testimony carefully AND had a lot of it read back to us so we could take further notes and refresh our memories. We carefully reviewed it all and then read, read and re-read the law and jury instructions. We all wanted to do the right thing and did not take this lightly. None of us felt any prejudice against the defendants. The situation was this regarding aiding and abetting (which we had to follow and the law is clear) - if the defendant helps a perpetrator commit a crime, he is also found guilty of the crime at the same degree. I know this doesn't sound fair, however, the jury could not rewrite the law or reinterpret it. Marvin decided to get out of the car, kick and stomp one of the victims in the head after he had been stabbed, had blood of the deceased and the other stabbing victim on the knuckles of his gloves (not just anywhere on the gloves, but the knuckles), as well as some other, lesser evidence. I hope this helps you understand. I am sorry for your pain - there are no winners in this situation and our hearts go out to EVERYONE involved. We, under the law, and with the evidence presented to us, could not find otherwise. I didn't want to further comment on this, but I read your plea and do feel your pain - I hope this helps you understand.
A. Juror November 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM
He didn't follow them - he went back there with friends and the defendants THEN drove back there. Also, he was, in fact, kicked out of the bar along with one of the defendants. The fact that the father was a pastor NEVER once was brought up during our deliberations and made no difference to us whatsoever.
DeannaLHL November 19, 2012 at 07:45 PM
It doesn't say in the Bible that you must obstain from alcohol. Pastor Ron Armstrong said that in his sermon just yesterday.
Michael November 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Actually funny enough. King James version says in Luke 1:15 "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither WINE nor strong drink..." and I don't know about dictionary or anyone else's but in my dictionary alcohol is worse than wine so if you shouldn't drink wine than you shouldn't drink alcohol. And strong for me includes red bull, monster, alcohol, HIGHLY caffeinated drinks when I say that I don't mean coke or that soda just really strong drinks. And in some cases a lot of coffee.
Michael November 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM
And that's king James version so it might be different in your bible.


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