VISTA (CNS) - A man accused in the December 2003 fatal shooting of a mother of three and the wounding of one of her co-workers in Carlsbad pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and attempted murder charges.
Gilberto Mendoza Castillo, 38, was arrested Saturday in Tijuana and turned over to U.S. officials.
During his arraignment Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Tamila Ipema set the defendant's bail at $5 million.
Deputy District Attorney Ryan Saunders told the judge that the victim, Maria Munoz, dated Castillo for about one month before ending the relationship.
Munoz, 31, and Castillo had worked together for a couple of years at Cessy's Taco Shop in Carlsbad, Saunders said.
Castillo found out that Munoz was picking up a man at the taco shop the night of Dec. 7, 2003, and waited for them, according to the prosecutor.
Castillo approached them with a gun and shot her six times, killing her, Saunders said.
Castillo shot her male companion once and he fell to the ground, and the defendant shot the man three more times, Saunders said. The man survived.
An arrest warrant for Castillo was issued 12 days after the shooting.
The defendant will be back in court April 11 for a readiness conference and April 16 for a preliminary hearing.
He faces 80 years to life in state prison if convicted, Saunders said.
Due to strong and gusty Santa Ana winds and a red flag warning, several San Diego County school districts were closed Tuesday after San Diego Gas & Electric officials shut off power for several thousand customers as a safety precaution.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials will shut down several lanes of traffic beginning Tuesday morning at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry to install equipment in preparation for the arrival of the migrant caravan, the agency said.
Santa Ana winds continued Tuesday to plague firefighters battling the deadly Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties as officials re-emphasized to evacuated residents that they must stay away until the area has been declared safe.
Police on Tuesday were searching for a man suspected of robbing a smoothie bar at gunpoint in Mira Mesa.
Santa Ana winds continue Tuesday, weakening Wednesday through Thursday. Very dry and gusty conditions will continue to bring elevated fire risk through Wednesday.
Santa Ana winds picked up again Monday and were expected to continue into Tuesday as firefighters battling the deadly Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties worked to hold back the flames.
Deputies shot and killed a man Monday afternoon during a confrontation at an East County apartment complex.
Among the Paradise residents that lost their homes to the Camp Fire were several graduates of Chula Vista High School.
Democrats have won two Republican-held California state Senate seats in the Central Valley, giving the party veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature.