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California and the West

Suspect in Boy's Slaying Is Examined by Doctors

November 18, 1998|TONY PERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — Brandon Wilson, 20, arrested in the throat-slashing death of a 9-year-old boy in a beachfront restroom in Oceanside, was examined by doctors Tuesday for possible medical problems associated with drugs and alcohol before being returned to an isolation cell to protect him from other prisoners, officials said.

Wilson, described as a transient from rural Wisconsin, will be arraigned today in Vista for the slaying of Matthew Louis Cecchi of Oroville in Northern California. The boy was taking part in a family reunion at the beach when the attack occurred.

Meanwhile, Oceanside police are circulating Wilson's picture to police departments across the country to see if he matches suspect descriptions in other cases. "It seems kind of illogical that he would just begin a rampage here," said police spokesman Sgt. Tom Bussey.

Wilson was arrested Monday morning in Hollywood after allegedly stabbing a woman in the head during a purse-snatching attempt. Within minutes, Los Angeles police said, he gave incriminating statements that linked him to the Oceanside slaying, which occurred about 8 p.m. Saturday at a beach that is a popular recreation spot for families.

On Tuesday, Wilson was identified by Matthew's aunt as the man she saw running from the restroom after the attack. Also on Tuesday, an autopsy was completed on the boy, who loved baseball and excelled in mathematics. Results of the autopsy were sealed at the request of Oceanside police.

Oceanside police are looking for a man who may have been with Wilson in an Oceanside motel before and after the killing. Officials have described Wilson as having a history of drug use and as having traveled through numerous states in recent months.

Wilson was remembered by former high school classmates in tiny St. Croix Falls as a quiet youth who played sports, had few friends, and showed an interest in alternative religions.

In Oceanside, people continued Tuesday to lay wreaths and other memorials at the cinder-block restroom where the killing occurred.

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