San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that defendant Dwayne E. Groves Jr., 41, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 72 years for murdering 15-year-old twin sisters, Caira and Leah Christopher, in April 2020. Groves pleaded guilty on March 10 to two counts of first-degree murder, a special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders, and an assault with a firearm count.
On the day of the fatal shootings, Groves arrived at his ex-girlfriend’s home and used a semi-automatic handgun to shoot his way into the residence. Once inside, he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend’s twin 15-year-old daughters, Caira and Leah. He then beat her 22-year-old son, Gary, with the gun, causing multiple lacerations to his head and breaking his arm. Groves’ ex-girlfriend, Joann Hoyt, was able to escape the residence with her younger daughters. Groves fled the scene and tried to avoid arrest but was ultimately located and taken into custody that same day. Law enforcement located the gun on scene with its serial numbers scratched off.
“Anytime that a human being is murdered, there is a sense of deep loss and pain; however, when the lives of innocent children are stolen, we are left with a gaping wound,” DA Stephan said. “This was an unspeakable crime that took the lives of two innocent twin girls who were just beginning their lives. Nothing can make up for the devastation the defendant caused to the family of the victims, but I hope this sentence provides a measure of justice and healing.”
At the preliminary hearing, Joann Hoyt testified that Groves called her just before the incident, told her he had a plan and to trust him. Shortly after hanging up, the sliding glass door to her bedroom shattered and Groves came in holding a gun. He immediately went after Caira then proceeded through the house on his murderous rampage, killing Leah and attacking Gary. Before running out of the house Hoyt overheard Groves say, “You always wanted a story to write and now you have a book.”
Deputy District Attorney Meredith Pro prosecuted this case.