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Judge In 1998 Oceanside Child Murder Case Retires

The San Diego judge who handled the death penalty case of Brandon Wilson – convicted in the 1998 slaying of a 9-year-old boy in Oceanside – has announced his retirement.

Photo credit: Patch

San Diego Superior Court Judge John Einhorn handled the death penalty case of Brandon Wilson, who was convicted in the 1998 slaying of a 9-year-old boy in Oceanside.

After 18 years on the bench, San Diego Superior Court Judge John Einhorn is hanging up his gavel, effective Aug. 31, court officials announced Wednesday.

Einhorn, appointed in 1995 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, presided over many of San Diego County's most difficult cases, including the Joshua Jenkins murder case in which Jenkins, a minor, was found sane and convicted of killing five family members.

More recently, Einhorn presided over the case involving the so-called "Birdrock Bandits," in which five La Jolla men were held criminally responsible for their roles in the beating and death of surfer Emery Kauanui.

"Retiring from the Superior Court is the most difficult decision made in my legal career," Einhorn said. "However, it is now time to move on to new challenges."

Einhorn plans to become involved in civic and philanthropic associations. He said he would like to give back to the California and San Diego communities, which he served while practicing law and with which he engaged as a Supervising Superior Court Judge.

Einhorn said he also hopes to play a few more rounds of golf in his retirement.

During his legal tenure, Einhorn was an adjunct professor of law at the University of San Diego and Cal Western, where he taught a Trial Practices course.

"Serving as an ombudsman was a unique, challenging and rewarding assignment," the judge said. "Mentoring lawyers and judges was one good way to give back to the legal community and brought me a unique source of satisfaction that I may pursue in the future."

Einhorn served a two-year term as assistant presiding judge of the Superior Court and another two years as presiding judge. He was the first supervising judge of a unified San Diego Superior Court.

"Judge Einhorn served our court with distinction as a consummate trial judge," said current Presiding Judge Robert Trentacosta. "He handled the most challenging cases with enthusiasm, skill and expertise. He will be sorely missed by all of us."

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