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Defense attorney fired, sentencing rescheduled Neal Putnam | Sat, May 24 2014 12:00 PM

A Nestor man who was convicted of second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of an acquaintance in Chula Vista fired his trial attorney Monday and sentencing was re-set for June 20.

The public defender’s office was appointed to represent Hector Pablo Molina, 59, who was convicted of killing David Craig, 55, on June 3, 2013. A key witness saw the stabbing and scrawled Molina’s license plate numbers into dirt as Molina drove away.

Molina was convicted March 6 by a jury which deliberated about seven and a half hours over two days in Chula Vista Superior Court. Molina faces a prison sentence of 16 years to life and he remains in jail without bail.

Judge Francis Devaney appointed the public defender’s office to represent Molina at sentencing, but it is possible an attorney may not be ready by the new sentencing date.

Craig was living in a van at Main Street and Seventh Avenue near a strawberry field in Chula Vista. Craig’s blood was found on a knife in Molina’s truck and his shoes had blood that matched the victim’s DNA. Blood was also found on Molina’s jeans and on the steering wheel, said Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Golovato.

The scrawled license plate number was checked by Chula Vista Police and the truck was registered to Molina.

Molina testified he had known Craig for about 20 years and denied committing the murder. Molina said someone else was responsible. Craig died from one stab wound to the heart.

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