VISTA (CNS) - An Encinitas man accused of killing his older brother by running him down with a pickup truck on a Cardiff-area roadside following a Labor Day weekend quarrel pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Camilo Ruiz Perez, 37, was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the death of 44-year-old Joaquin Perez.
Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior said Camilo Perez got into an argument with his brother over having someone cover a job in Mexico and were about to fight when a third person intervened. She said Joaquin Perez then left to walk home, and the defendant got in his truck and drove alongside the victim.
"Ultimately, the defendant, angry with his brother over the earlier argument, drove up on the sidewalk and ran over his brother, went into reverse and dragged him 15 feet, taking off part of his scalp," Prior said.
She said the defendant fled but later called 911 to report the collision. He then returned on foot to the scene at Windsor Road and Villa Cardiff Drive, and told authorities he didn't know the mortally injured man, the prosecutor siad.
His family believed Joaquin Perez went missing and had a family meeting, which Camilo Perez attended, according to Prior. She said a firefighter who had been at the accident scene recognized the defendant.
Camilo Perez told investigators he had intended to scare his brother, the prosecutor said. She said his pickup truck was found, and had damage consistent with running over someone.
Judge Marshall Hockett set bail at $5 million, and scheduled a readiness conference for Sept. 17.