Jamul ranch hand pleads not guilty to woman's murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Jamul ranch hand pleads not guilty to woman's murder

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  • Ranch hand suspected in East County slaying arrested

    Ranch hand suspected in East County slaying arrested

    Tuesday, March 15 2011 3:50 AM EDT2011-03-15 07:50:22 GMT
    A ranch hand suspected of murdering a female acquaintance at his Jamul workplace was found Monday by detectives at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa where he had been admitted for undisclosed reasons. 
    A ranch hand suspected of murdering a female acquaintance at his Jamul workplace was found Monday by detectives at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa where he had been admitted for undisclosed reasons. 

EL CAJON (CNS) - A ranch hand accused of fatally stabbing a female acquaintance at his Jamul workplace pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge and was ordered held without bail.

Miguel Medina Sanchez, 32, was found Monday at Grossmont Hospital, where he had been admitted for undisclosed reasons.

Homicide investigators and members of a fugitive task force had been looking for Sanchez since Saturday, when the body of 44-year-old Maria "Irma" Palos De Rubio was discovered in the defendant's living quarters at a ranch in the 15600 block of Lyons Valley Road.

The interior of the residence showed signs of a violent struggle, sheriff's homicide Lt. Dennis Brugos said.

The cause of the woman's death has not been released, and officials have not disclosed a motive for the slaying.

Judge Charles Ervin scheduled a readiness conference for March 25 and a preliminary hearing for March 30.

Sanchez faces 26 years to life in state prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso.

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