Hailey Suder, an 18-year-old high school cheerleader, has been charged in connection with the murder of a homeless man, the L.A. Times is reporting.
As of this writing, prosecutors have not disclosed what role Suder played in the murder of the homeless man, whom police say was tortured and beaten to death, but they say she was not directly involved in the man’s murder. She has been charged with two felony counts of being an accessory after the fact.
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On the evening of April 24, Penny Lowery found her husband, 50-year-old George Lowery, face down and unconscious in a river near the homeless encampment in Santee, California, (near San Diego), where the two had lived. He had been severely beaten, suffering severe trauma from multiple kicks and punches to the abdomen and head. He was taken to a hospital, where he died a few days later.
Lowery’s daughter, Katey Torres, said her father — who suffered a stroke and two brain hemorrhages as a result of the beating — died in agony.
“His whole life revolved around his wife, Penny.Working and doing any handy work he could to provide for him and his wife and family.”
Torres said her father was a generous man who, despite being homeless, did what he could to provide for his wife and doing whatever he could to help others in need.
“Although he did not have much he was always giving. Anyone he came across loved his personality and he was always talking to people. Anyone he saw that needed help or just needed a smile he’d be there lifting your spirits. If someone was in need he would do what he could to help, no matter how hard the task. If he came across good fortune, he shared it.”
Two brothers — Austin Mostrong, 20, and Preston Mostrong, 19 — have been arrested in connection with Lowery’s beating and murder, according to KSWB (San Diego).
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Authorities are being tight-lipped about a possible motive, but it appears that the brothers had been involved in some sort of altercation at or near Lowery’s homeless camp a few days earlier, on April 20. It is unclear if Lowery himself was involved in that altercation, but Lowery would wind up paying for that altercation with his life.
Both brothers were on probation at the time of Lowery’s attack. Preston was on probation for theft, and Austin for assault and obstructing a peace officer.
Suder was dating one of the brothers, although it is not clear which.
The cheerleader’s Facebook account, which has been deleted, listed her relationship status as “single.” Several photos of her showed her and other cheerleaders wearing their uniforms and holding pom-poms.
Catherine Martin, spokeswoman for the Grossmont Union High School District, where Hailey Suder was a senior cheerleader, declined to provide any specifics about the young woman, but did confirm that she did not graduate with the rest of her class earlier this year.
In an emotional court hearing on Monday, Suder held back tears as she pleaded not guilty to the two felony charges against her. She was remanded to jail, where she is held on $100,000 bond. If convicted on all charges, she faces three years and eight months behind bars.
Meanwhile, Lowery’s daughter has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to help with expenses for both George and his wife. As of this writing, the account has raised just over $11,000, over its stated goal of $10,000.
[Image via Shutterstock/sportpoint]