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Teen told group chat he was 'going hobo hunting' before killing homeless woman with pellet gun, DA says

Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-08 00:39:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two teens are pleading not guilty to the killing of a 68-year-old homeless woman with a pellet gun in May.

Annette Pershal was found unconscious on May 8, a day after the San Diego District Attorney's Office says she was shot with a pellet gun with metal bullets.

William Innes, 18, and Ryan Hopkins, 19, were arraigned in court Monday, where Deputy District Attorney Roza Egiazarian said Innes sent a group chat message about going, "hobo hunting" just minutes before the shooting.

The DA's office says Hopkins drove Innes in a white Toyota Corolla to Sandrock Road in Serra Mesa, where Innes then stopped in front of Pershal and fired multiple shots.

Egiazarian says an autopsy showed one of the shots hit Pershal in the forehead, while another hit her torso and punctured her artery before she became unconscious.

Innes has been hit with multiple charges, including murder, while Hopkins is charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Both men pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, but both were denied bond.

Hopkins' attorney, Vikas Bajaj, says his client is innocent of the charges, and claims that information he's gathered thus far shows that the message Innes sent came 12 hours after the shooting.

Meanwhile, a memorial still sits for Pershal, who some in the community called 'Granny Annie.'

"That's what she wanted to be called," Pershal's daughter Brandy Nazworth told ABC 10News in a video call from Louisiana.

She loved people, she was a free spirit, she was happy-go-lucky, Nazworth said of her mother. "She wouldn't bother anybody. She loved the neighborhood and I know she loved the community."

According to Nazworth, Pershal had been homeless since 2017. Pershal had arranged housing on a few occasions, but she walked with a walker and struggled to find any homes that were suitable for her.

"Unfortunately, if this hadn't happened, she might have been housed," Nazworth said.