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Murder Defendant Says He Was Out of the Room

August 20, 1992|HOLLY LOBELSON and THOM MROZEK | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

One of two men charged with bludgeoning an elderly Clairemont couple to death told police he was in another room when the killings occurred, according to a taped interview played in court Wednesday.

On the third day of a preliminary hearing for John Richard Rosenquist and Randall Clark Wall, prosecutors played an audiotape in which Rosenquist told police he was in another room when Wall used a pipe to kill the couple.

While both men admit to being in the house where John Oren, 84, and his wife, Katherine, 73, were murdered March 1, each initially denied responsibility for the crime.

Rosenquist, 28, said on the tape that Wall used a metal pipe to kill the couple as Rosenquist tried to calm their 10-year-old great-grandson in another room.

"Every time something was going on, I was with the boy, talking to him, keeping him calm," Rosenquist said on the tape. "I never had a weapon in my hand."

Rosenquist said he never used two metal bars found at the scene that were the weapons.

In other tapes played Tuesday in court, Wall, 23, said he was calming the boy in another room as Rosenquist was committing the murders. But after first telling police that his co-defendant was responsible for the killing, Wall recanted and admitted that he was the killer.

Wall, who once lived with the couple's granddaughter at the house, listened impassively Tuesday as a tape of his confession was played. Rosenquist, in contrast, cried while his interview was played Wednesday for San Diego Municipal Judge Ann P. Winebrenner.

The hearing is scheduled to resume Aug. 31.

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