2 Suscepts Charged with Murder, Hate Crime for Killing of Youth Pastor at a California Gas Station

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Friday, March 25, 2022
2 Suscepts Charged with Murder, Hate Crime for Killing of Youth Pastor at a California Gas Station

2 Suscepts Charged with Murder, Hate Crime for Killing of Youth Pastor at a California Gas Station

Two suspects have been charged with murder and hate crimes in the slaying of a youth pastor and Navy veteran at a gas station in Tracy, California.

According to a press release, Christina Lyn Garner, 42, and Jeremy Wayne Jones, 49, were arraigned on murder charges with a special circumstance after killing 30-year-old Justin Peoples at a Chevron gas station on March 15.

Both suspects were accused of killing Peoples because of his race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin, CBN News reports. Under the charges with a special circumstance, both suspects are eligible for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"There is no place for hate in our community. No one should be victimized because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion," District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said a statement. "These types of crimes are reprehensible, and my administration will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law to hold those who perpetrate hate accountable."

Meanwhile, a third suspect, Christopher Dimenco, 58, was arraigned on accessory charges.

"There is no room for hate in Tracy or anywhere," Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington said. "When community members are victims of crimes related to hate, we will use our resources to bring those responsible to justice."

The press release also included photos of the first two suspects. In the photos of Jones, the words "White" and "Pride" can be seen tattooed on his arms. A swastika tattoo is also visible.

In an interview with NBC News, Peoples' father, Maurice Peoples, said that his son went to the gas station with his girlfriend to get change for laundry. The girlfriend noted that the suspects followed Peoples inside, where they allegedly shot and stabbed him.

Peoples was then taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"He had the heart of a lion to survive, but he just didn't make it," Peoples' father said.

At the time of his death, Peoples was serving as a youth pastor and working two other jobs. According to his father, Peoples attended San Joaquin Delta College before enlisting in the Navy in 2010. A year later, however, he was medically discharged due to ulcers.

The elder Peoples told NBC News that his son was known for his big smile and "big kind heart."

"When he came around, you could feel the light from his smile," he said.

Peoples leaves behind two sons, ages 11 and 12.

The suspects, who remain in custody, are slated to return to court on April 4 for further arraignment.

Related:

Mother Killed, 2 Pastors Wounded in Colorado Church Shooting

Family Sprayed with Acid for Leaving Islam

Christian in Pakistan Arrested, Tortured on Blasphemy Charges

Photo courtesy: ┬ęGetty Images/Kayla James


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.



2 Suscepts Charged with Murder, Hate Crime for Killing of Youth Pastor at a California Gas Station