SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Police theorize that a parolee visiting a prostitute at her City Heights apartment last summer fatally stabbed her, then put her body in a bathtub filled with water before trying to clean up the bloody crime scene, a homicide detective testified Tuesday.
San Diego police Detective Michelle Velovich took the witness stand as a preliminary hearing got under way for Frank Dwayne Shaw, who is charged with the slaying of 48-year-old Maureen Skeffington.
Shaw, who's in custody in lieu of $1 million bail, faces 82 years to life in prison if convicted of murder.
Velovich testified that she and other officers went to the victim's apartment at 3853 Cherokee Ave. last Aug. 28 after neighbors said they hadn't seen her in a couple days.
The detective said that based on the evidence in the apartment, police think Skeffington was killed on her bed and placed in the bathtub.
The victim was stabbed five times -- including twice in the neck -- and had a broken nose and two black eyes, Velovich testified.
Bloody sheets, a woman's shirt and bra were found in a trash container outside, the detective said.
Shaw, 36, was arrested at his home in Southcrest on Dec. 20.
At the defendant's arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson told a judge that Shaw has previous "strike" convictions stemming from a series of armed robberies in 1997 and represented a serious threat to the community.
Erickson alleged evidence was found that directly matches the defendant with the crime scene, noting Shaw was the last person to have contact with the victim.
Police said Skeffington was unmarried and lived alone. Neighbors testified that she told them she worked as a prostitute under the name "Tabby."
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, which continues tomorrow, Judge Charles Rogers will determine whether enough evidence was presented for Shaw to proceed to trial.
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