SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A suspected gang associate accused of taking part in an assault that left a woman fatally injured underneath an abandoned car in a
City Heights alley last month pleaded not guilty Monday to hit-and-run and assault with a deadly weapon charges.
Marco Antonio Gutierrez, 29, faces eight years in prison if convicted.
Gutierrez came to court out of custody after posting $50,000 bail, but was taken back to jail when his bail was increased to $250,000.
He was allegedly behind the wheel when Jasmine Ruiz was run over April 20. Prosecutors theorize that the victim was dead or near death after being
stabbed in the jugular vein, allegedly by co-defendant Christina Daniel.
Daniel, 32, was charged with murder last week and ordered held without bail in the 29-year-old victim's death.
Deputy District Attorney David Bost said at Daniel's arraignment that she is on parole for a 2007 carjacking, and has also been charged in a separate
case in the South Bay with stabbing a person in the head and back. She faces a prison term of 26 years to life -- which could be doubled -- if convicted.
Detectives have not determined a motive for the fatal assault. Police believe the suspects have gang ties and that the victim did, as well, but
investigators do not think those involvements played a direct role in the deadly confrontation, San Diego police Lt. Manny Del Toro said.
It is "quite possible'' Ruiz was run over by the vehicle as a means of preventing her from getting away after being knifed, he said.
Bost said police initially thought Ruiz was the victim of a hit-and-run. A subsequent investigation determined that the victim was stabbed in the
jugular vein, probably while she was in a car that she had borrowed, then was run over and dragged about 15 to 20 feet, the prosecutor said.
Police said Ruiz had been staying with friends in the area.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on April 20, officers responding to reports of a disturbance and traffic accident in an access road off the 4100 block of Wilson
Avenue found Ruiz mortally wounded beneath a damaged and unoccupied 1993 Toyota Camry. She died at the scene.
Witnesses described hearing an argument between several people just prior to the crash and seeing a pair of men and a bloodied woman running out of
the area in different directions, Lt. Manny Del Toro said.
The defendants will be back in court May 25 for a readiness conference.
If you want to vote in the Nov. 6 Gubernatorial General Election, you should register by Monday, Oct. 22. If you miss the deadline, you may still conditionally register and vote provisionally through Election Day but you will have to register in person at the Registrar of Voters office in Kearny Mesa.
Warm and dry conditions are expected to continue through Sunday with temperatures in the low 80s inland and high 70s at the coast.
The San Diego Gulls will try to extend a three-game winning streak when they resume their four-game homestand Friday following Saturday night's 5-4 victory over the Bakersfield Condors.
A 45-year-old man is expected to survive gunshot wounds suffered during a shooting by a gunman at a liquor store in the Mountain View community of San Diego, a police officer said Sunday.
All southbound lanes of Interstate 5 will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Sunday night and continuing through Oct. 25, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.
A Mexican fishing boat caught fire and burned 30 miles south of San Diego, and while 15 people were rescued by a U.S.- flagged vessel, three people remained missing Sunday.
A blessing. That is exactly what Kelly Muno is calling what happened to her son, a former San Diego State University baseball star, on Friday afternoon.
San Diego State has suspended one of its fraternities, the university announced in a statement late Friday.
Gun owners had the chance to trade in unwanted firearms for gift cards or skateboards on Saturday, no questions asked, at a gun "buy back" event in southeastern San Diego.
The University of Southern California will pay $215 million in an "agreement in principle" to patients treated by Dr. George Tyndall, a campus gynecologist who has been accused of sexual assault by hundreds of women.