The Star-News


Numbers in the dirt lead to suspect’s arrest

Sat, Oct 26 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Neal Putnam

A Nestor man was ordered Monday to stand trial for the murder of a Chula Vista resident whose friend saw the stabbing and scrawled the killer’s vehicle license plate number in the dirt.

The defendant, Hector Pablo Molina, 58, was acquainted with the victim, David Craig, 55, who was living in a van at Main Street and Seventh Avenue near a strawberry field in Chula Vista.

The victim’s friend was among seven witnesses who testified about the clues to the June 3 slaying in a day-long preliminary hearing heard by Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Alvin Green, Jr.

Molina will next appear in court on Nov. 4 to get a trial date set.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Golovato said Craig died from one stab wound to the heart. She said there was no struggle or argument between the two men before the stabbing. The victim’s friend did not have a cell phone and he hastily scrawled the license plate number in dirt after the incident.

After talking to the victim’s friend, Chula Vista Police officers ran the license plate number and found the truck registered to Molina. It was parked in a South San Diego neighborhood and he was arrested the next day. Officers discovered the victim’s blood on Molina’s shoes along with blood on the steering wheel.

A bloody knife was found in a sheath in the vehicle and it was matched to the victim’s blood with DNA evidence. A DNA expert testified. Golovato said there were Adidas shoe prints in the dirt that also matched Molina’s shoes.

Molina has pleaded not guilty and he remains in the central jail downtown without bail.


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