SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mental competency examination was ordered Friday for a man accused of fatally stabbing his live-in girlfriend, whose body was found when firefighters responded to a blaze at their Clairemont home.
Anthony Elias Estrada, 42, is charged with murder and arson in the death of 46-year-old Margaret Pappas.
Superior Court Judge David Szumowski suspended criminal proceedings Friday after the defendant's attorney, Frank Barone, said he doubted Estrada's ability to understand the charges against him and assist in his own defense.
Estrada will be evaluated by doctors and return to court July 6.
Emergency crews found Pappas, a special-education teacher's aide, dead from an apparent knife wound just after 5 a.m. Feb. 6 while extinguishing several intentionally set fires in the couple's home.
Firefighters responding to a 911 call in the 4800 block of Huron Avenue arrived to find two blazes inside the home, one in the living room and one in a rear bedroom, according to San Diego police.
Police Lt. Kevin Rooney said firefighters escorted three residents outside and later found the victim in a rear bedroom where a fire was extinguished.
Pappas was pronounced dead at the scene. The only resident of the house who was not present when emergency personnel arrived was Estrada, according to police.
Shortly before 7:30 a.m., while patrol officers were briefing homicide investigators about the case, Estrada surrendered to workers at Clairemont High School, the lieutenant said. The employees notified police, who responded and took Estrada into custody.
Police did not disclose a possible motive.
Estrada -- who remains held without bail -- faces 34 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Dan Link.
One of the victim's three daughters said her mother and Estrada had been together more than a dozen years and wore wedding bands. Pappas also had a 14-year-old son.
A local war hero is about to be laid to rest. Retired Navy Captain James "Duffy" Hutton spent years of his service as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before he settled down here in San Diego.
Sunday marked day two of the government shutdown - and with the work week beginning Monday - thousands of employees may not go back to work.
Temperatures are expected to rise slightly on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, but will remain cooler than normal.
A motorcyclist was suspected of drunken driving after causing a late-night car crash in Pacific Beach, police said Sunday, and hours later, a second crash occurred in the intersection while police were still investigating.
The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 last week to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.
John Coleman, a long-serving San Diego weatherman and founder of The Weather Channel, has died at the age of 83.
Several dogs were taken into the custody of San Diego County and put down, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.