An Oregon man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing a La Mesa man with a sword in 2006 in a cold case that was solved with DNA evidence.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson said Dec. 23 that Zachary Aaron Bunney, now 39, will have to serve 85% of the 12-year term for killing Scott Martinez, 46, because it was a violent felony.
El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador ordered Bunney to pay restitution and gave him credit for the 11 months he spent in jail following his arrest in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Martinez’s daughter was present at the sentencing, but she did not speak.
Bunney slashed Martinez more than 30 times with the sword Martinez had displayed in his home, but he also accidently cut himself. Bunney used toilet paper in the bathroom to clean his own wounds and also spread some of his blood as he left through the bathroom window, said Erickson.
Bunney left his own DNA in the blood in the bathroom and window. A match to his DNA profile was obtained via a public genetic genealogy firm which one of his relatives had used to chart the family history.
Bunney had dated the babysitter Martinez had used for his daughter and was apparently jealous of him. The babysitter eventually got a restraining order against Bunney. She was not involved in the slaying.
Bunney pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and a murder charge was dismissed. He received 11 years for manslaughter plus one year for the use of the sword.
A judge set $5 million bail Dec. 23 for a man suspected of killing two people in Ramona in 1987 during a birthday party for a 4-year-old girl.
Jose Angel Solorio, now 59, was 27 years old when he allegedly shot German and Ventura Aviles to death and wounded Carlos Holgin and Jose Aviles on June 7, 1987.
“Anyone who shoots four people is a danger to the public,” said Deputy District Attorney Joseph Brannigan upon setting the high bail requested by Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson.
Erickson said the party ran out of beer and there were some harsh words between Solorio and others as they discussed getting more beer. Solorio left, but returned 15 minutes later with a gun and fired shots at the party guests, said Erickson.
Solorio fled to Mexico where “he was on the run for 32 years” until Mexican law enforcement arrested him, said Erickson. He was extradited Dec. 20 to county jail.
Solorio pleaded not guilty to two murders and two attempted murders and a Jan. 7 preliminary hearing was set. He remains in jail.
A Lemon Grove man has been sentenced to 13 years in state prison for killing his girlfriend in Jamul when he fatally struck her with a rented SUV.
Bernadette Castillo, 46, of Lemon Grove, was mortally wounded July 27, 2018, around 3:30 a.m. on state Route 94 near Steele Canyon Road after she got out of the SUV during an apparent argument.
Rontarieo Deshaun Brown, 37, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and fleeing the scene.
He agreed to accept a stipulated term of 13 years in prison handed down by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson said Deputy District Attorney Will Watkins on Dec. 27.
Brown abandoned the SUV in El Cajon and investigators learned it had been fraudulently rented a month earlier. A car rental company reported it stolen when it was not returned.
The victim told family members that if she ever ended up dead, Brown would be her killer, according to his arrest warrant declaration.
Brown left some of his mail in the rental car. The California Highway Patrol arrested him on Sept. 10, 2018, at a Coronado hotel. Brown received credit for the last 16 months in jail.