CHULA VISTA (CNS) – A man who allegedly shot dead his mother-in-law and half-brother in Imperial Beach last month in murders which prosecutors say were meant to cover up the sex crimes he committed days older early, pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and other counts. .
Marco Antonio Valadez Jr., 47, is charged with the Dec. 4 murder of Raquel Pitsenberger, 55, and his 36-year-old son, Marco “Tony” Valadez Jr., whom sheriff’s deputies found fatally injured in a house at 1300 block of Fern Avenue shortly before 4:30 p.m.
Pitsenberger died at the scene, Sheriff Lt. Thomas Seiver said.
Paramedics took his son to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the alleged murders stemmed from a confrontation “in which (Valadez) attempted to silence family members who were potential witnesses” to an alleged sexual assault by an 18-year-old family member who performed. two days before.
In a statement, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan called the case “one of the most disturbing crimes in San Diego County in 2021.”
Valadez was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the United States on December 16.
The murder charge includes allegations of special circumstances for multiple murders and the murder of a witness, meaning Valadez could face the death penalty, should prosecutors choose to pursue capital punishment.
He also faces two sexual assault charges for the sexual abuse allegations which prosecutors say led to the murders. According to the prosecutor’s office, Valadez was also convicted in 1998 of forced rape and faces additional allegations relating to being a “habitual sex offender”.
Valadez remains in custody without bail and is due to return to court on March 28.