Trial begins for former Marine accused of killing masseuse - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trial begins for former Marine accused of killing masseuse

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of a former Camp Pendleton Marine accused of killing a masseuse in a downtown San Diego massage parlor 36 years ago.

Leon Johnson, 58, is charged with murder in connection with the death of Luz Borrayo on Nov. 22, 1975.

A woman who worked at the massage parlor that night told police that two men came in and that Borrayo spent around 45 minutes with the one who gave the name "Leon," according to court records. During that time, she said she heard a couple of thumps against a wall.

After the patrons left, she said she found the 27-year-old Borrayo on the floor, partially clothed and with a piece of material around her neck. An autopsy determined she had been strangled.

In 2002, San Diego police detectives investigating cold cases put obtained a DNA profile of Borrayo's killer and when they submitted it to a database, Johnson was a match.

The defendant was serving a life prison sentence in Mississippi for the 1982 murder of a convenience store clerk. He was extradited to San Diego last year.

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Freshwater said that if Johnson is convicted in the trial in the downtown courtroom of Judge Charles Rogers, he would face seven years to life in state prison, the applicable penalty back in 1975.

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