Joseph Elija Ettima Murder Trial to Begin After Delays Caused by His Refusals to Leave Jail Cell

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Joseph Elija Ettima has been jailed awaiting trial since 2009 for allegedly murdering his grandmother and setting her house on fire while his 8-year-old brother and 3-year-old niece were inside. That's because jailers have had a heck of a time getting the 30-year-old to come out of his Orange County jail cell so he can make his court dates.

That's scheduled to change this morning in Santa Ana.

Joseph Elija Ettima Won't Leave Jail Cell for His Murder Trial; Hearing Set to Decide What to Do

Trial is scheduled to begin for Ettima, who faces murder, arson, child-abuse and criminal-threats counts and a sentencing enhancement for arson with an accelerant that, with a conviction, could send him to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

Ettima went to the Los Alamitos home of his 69-year-old grandmother, Emma Louise Hardwick-Street, on Jan. 19, 2009, to see if he could move in. But Hardwick-Street refused as she was already raising Ettima's then-8-year-old brother and then-3-year-old niece, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office.

The refusal sparked an argument that allegedly ended with Ettima stabbing his grammy to death, dousing clothing and other items with alcohol and setting the home ablaze before fleeing and leaving the children inside, prosecutors allege.

The boy managed to grab his little sister and escape. Speaking of escaping, that's what Ettima did, to Mexico. But a warrant was issued for him on Jan. 21, 2009, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him in a town south of Mexico City and he was deported from Mexico to the U.S. on April 14, 2009.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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16 comments
Dan Bergin
Dan Bergin

Why not just drag his ass out of the cell and stuff him in the van he'll go

Al Luna
Al Luna

Maybe they should set his jail cell on fire, just like he did to his sweet little old granny.

lonhall
lonhall

when is the execution?!

Ro Hart
Ro Hart

refusals to leave his jail cell??? WTF? if he's so crazy & out of control they can't even go near him physically, they should tranquillize him (like with the guns they use to knock out big animals) tie him up in a straight jacket & chains, then place him in a cage during his court appearance. (a soundproof one, preferrably) Just pipe the audio in to him, and let him communicate thru his lawyer. Then tranq him up again & take him back to his cell. (is he trying to get off on an insanity plea??)

René Bruce
René Bruce

What happened to the old, grab 6 guards and drag the prick out ???

Mike Frenes
Mike Frenes

So let him sit in his stinky jail cell if he doesn't want to be present to defend allegations against himself. Does a person really have to be present during the process? If he doesn't want to show and he's found guilty then who's to blame?

Dawn Thompson
Dawn Thompson

Why should he have the "option"? This is BS! Restrain him and drag his butt to court. Who is in charge in that jail??

Jack O'Loughlin
Jack O'Loughlin

if he doesn't want to leave... why not just plead guilty and take the maximum sentence?

tubthumper59
tubthumper59

I find it funny the the sheriffs could not remove him from his cell, really?

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I'm sure I'm not the only one here who feels an appropriate punishment for this scumbag would be to have him set on fire...:-(

949girl
949girl topcommenter

He was on an episode of Lockup Orange County!

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@tubthumper59He was on an episode of Lockup and he caused a huge scene in the episode.  I'm sure they could physically remove him but he is so crazy I doubt they could get him on the bus, to court and have him act sane. 

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