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December prelim set for suspected stabber Neal Putnam | Sat, Nov 11 2017 12:00 PM

The man who allegedly stabbed a 19-year-old man to death in 2005 in National City will have a Dec. 13 preliminary hearing.

Anthony Raymond Rivers, 30, is charged with murder in the April 9, 2005 slaying of Luis Vazquez who was killed in the 200 block of Highland Avenue in National City in an unprovoked attack.

The charges allege that Rivers killed Vazquez “in association with a criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote, further and assist in criminal conduct by gang members.”

Rivers was arrested Oct. 16 by National City Police with the assistance of sheriff’s deputies where he was staying in La Mesa in the 4500 block of Avocado Boulevard. Rivers is also charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon involving Vazquez’s two companions.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Eacret said in court that Rivers, a gang member, and two others erroneously believed that Vazquez and his two friends were rival gang members. Rivers issued a gang challenge and allegedly stabbed Vazquez in the chest with a large dagger style knife.

The two groups began fighting and Rivers is suspected of chasing Vazquez and stabbing him multiple times in the head. A friend of Vazquez’s was also stabbed in the side and had major injuries.

Rivers pleaded not guilty and a Chula Vista Superior Court judge ordered him held on $3 million bail. Rivers, who was 18 years old at the time of the slaying, remains in the central jail.

Jose Hernandez, now 39, was charged in 2005 and he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Hernandez also admitted a gang allegation and was sentenced in 2005 to 13 years in state prison, said Eacret.

Jorge Ibarra, 31, was arrested by National City Police on Jan. 25, 2017. Ibarra pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon after having a preliminary hearing. He will be sentenced Jan. 23, 2018, and his plea agreement indicates he faces up to six years in prison. Ibarra remains in jail without bail.

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