Suspect in killing, robbery of gay man set for preliminary hearing 

The man arrested in connection with the 2012 slaying of Steven “Eriq” Escalon is being held to answer for all charges, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.

James Rickleffs, 47, was arrested in September 2012, three months after Escalon, 28, was found dead, bound and gagged, by his roommate in his Diamond Heights apartment.

Police at the time said Rickleffs and Escalon met at a bar in the Castro district the night of June 11. Early the next morning, Escalon withdrew money from an ATM and he and Rickleffs reportedly shared a cab ride home to Escalon’s apartment.

The next day, Escalon’s roommate found his body and saw that several items from the apartment were missing, including a laptop, television, jewelry and financial documents.

After Escalon’s death, his family and police canvassed his neighborhood looking for tips. Several witnesses identified Rickleffs as a suspect, many telling police they had seen the two together earlier in the night of June 11.

When Rickleffs was arrested, police said they found many of the missing items from Escalon’s home in his possession. Police said they also had forensic evidence allegedly linking him to the crime.

Rickleffs was on probation for grand theft at the time of his arrest.

At the time of Escalon’s slaying, District Attorney George Gascón said his death was part of a series of robberies and burglaries in which victims take strangers they meet at bars back to their homes only to be robbed and burglarized.

Rickleffs will be in court Friday at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing and to set a trial start date, Bastian said.

Man who assaulted woman on Pink Saturday to be sentenced

The Oakland man convicted in the attack and robbery of a woman on Pink Saturday last year is expected to return to court Friday for sentencing, Bastian said.

Christopher Porter-Bailey, 23, was convicted in February of robbery and assault and battery with serious bodily injury in the June 30 attack in which a woman was robbed at Market and Dolores streets.

The 28-year-old victim was robbed by a group of people and knocked to the ground. As she tried to get up, one of the muggers, reportedly Porter-Bailey, walked by, turned and kicked her in the head. The brutal assault was caught on surveillance video.

Porter-Bailey will return to court Friday at 1:30 p.m. for sentencing, Bastian said. Porter-Bailey had been scheduled to be sentenced earlier this month, but the case was rescheduled. He faces up to eight years in state prison on the charges.

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Rob Nagle

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