Suspects in Crestline shooting face murder charges

Nov 1, 2023 | Front Page, Mountain Emergency Updates

Sheriff’s deputies had Sleepy Hollow Hotel under surveillance well into the evening on Wednesday, Oct. 25. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)

By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY

Senior Writer

 

The night manager of Sleepy Hollow Cabins and Hotel on Lake Drive in Crestline was shot following an argument in the hotel parking lot around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25. A short time later, two Hispanic men were seen walking down the sidewalk, yelling at each other and brandishing weapons.

The manager, who at first was not identified, was reported to be in critical condition and was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his wounds.

Subsequently, on Thursday, Oct. 26, the victim, who authorities identified as Steven Colter, a 51-year-old Crestline resident, succumbed to his injuries. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail, have been assigned to the investigation. The investigation is ongoing, and no further details are available for release.

A sheriff’s deputy at the scene at 8 a.m. on Wednesday had been tight-lipped about the incident and would not confirm or deny Facebook reports that multiple persons had been shot. Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Gloria Huerta told the Alpine Mountaineer that several persons had been detained for questioning and that rumors that a suspect had barricaded himself were not true.

A sheriff’s deputy inspects a BMW that authorities stopped near Higher Grounds Coffee House on Lake Drive as the suspects were fleeing the scene on Wednesday morning.

A sheriff’s deputy inspects a BMW that authorities stopped near Higher Grounds Coffee House on Lake Drive as the suspects were fleeing the scene on Wednesday morning.

 

According to authorities, the suspects – Brian Serrano, 43, of Sun City and Jaime Rojas, 46, of Santa Ana – were stopped as they were fleeing the scene in a white, late model BMW. Serrano was subsequently arrested for attempted murder (PC664/187) and booked into the Sheriff’s Central Detention Center in Santa Ana, while Rojas was transported to a hospital, where he was being treated for his injuries, while awaiting booking for conspiracy to commit attempted murder  (PC182).

Sgt. Robert Whiteside of the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station told the Alpine Mountaineer on Friday, Oct. 27 that the accused suspects have now been charged with first-degree murder (PC187). If convicted of murder in California, Serrano and Rojas could be facing a sentence of 25 years to life in a state prison.

Lake Drive was closed to through traffic between the Crestline post office and 7-Eleven most of the day on Oct. 25.

Lake Drive was closed to through traffic between the Crestline post office and 7-Eleven most of the day on Oct. 25.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department’s Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station at (909) 336-0600. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME, or log onto www.wetip.com.

The Alpine Mountaineer will continue to follow this story.

 

 

 

 

 

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