Preliminary hearing for man accused of killing estranged wife - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Preliminary hearing for man accused of killing estranged wife

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Lorena Gonzalez Lorena Gonzalez
Julio Angel Garcia-Puente Julio Angel Garcia-Puente

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A preliminary hearing was scheduled to begin Wednesday for the estranged husband of a woman whose charred body was discovered in a burned-out car last year on the UC San Diego campus.

Prosecutors allege that Julio Angel Garcia-Puente, 50, killed his 38-year-old wife around Oct. 30, sometime before her car was found ablaze in a parking lot off Voigt Drive at the university campus in La Jolla.

While extinguishing the blaze, firefighters discovered Lorena Gonzalez' charred body inside the destroyed vehicle.

A postmortem examination determined that the woman was a homicide victim. The autopsy results have been sealed and prosecutors have not revealed the cause of death.

Garcia-Puente faces nearly 26 years to life in prison if convicted of murder and arson, said Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney.

She said the defendant is not a U.S. citizen, but did not say which country he was from. He was arrested in Tijuana on Nov. 5 and turned over to San Diego police detectives.

He was previously described by authorities as an unemployed transient who frequented Carlsbad and San Marcos.

A judge will decide at the end of the preliminary hearing whether enough evidence was presented for Garcia-Puente to stand trial.

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