Arraignment hearing set for Mira Mesa murder suspect
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A trial date could be set Thursday at an arraignment hearing for a man accused of killing a 63-year-old co-worker during a robbery at a wire transfer and shipping business in Mira Mesa last spring.
Leopoldo Pacuan, 49, is charged with murder and murder during a robbery in the death last May of Raquel Morales. He’s scheduled to be asked today how he pleads.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has yet to decide whether to pursue the death penalty or life in prison without parole for Pacuan if he’s convicted.
Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund said Pacuan was not working the night he went to LBC Express and allegedly tried to rob Morales. When she resisted, Pacuan stabbed her eight times — including twice in the heart — and left her for dead, the prosecutor alleged.
A supervisor said Pacuan had been on medical leave because of an arm injury.
Officers found the victim at the LBC Express business office just before 2 a.m. on May 18, after her husband called police and asked someone to check on his wife because she had failed to return home from work as usual.
Pacuan allegedly took the victim’s purse, watch and wedding ring before fleeing.
A surveillance camera captured a dark-colored SUV coming and going at the back of the business around the time of the murder, and Pacuan was arrested at his San Diego home four days later.