By NEAL PUTNAM
A North Park man accused of fatally stabbing a 23-year-old man in a red Ford Focus was released Monday, April 25 after posting $250,000 bond.
Alberto Jorge Barraza, 32, has pleaded not guilty to killing Nikko Guardado, 23, on March 26.
Deputy District Attorney Karra Reed, who argued that Barraza should not be released, said Monday she heard he had posted bond.
Barraza’s attorney, Andrea Mangarin, asked San Diego Superior Court Judge David Berry to set reasonable bail for her client, as Barraza had been denied bail earlier. Berry asked Mangarin what is reasonable bail to her, and she said $100,000.
Mangarin said if Barraza was able to post bond, he would live with his father on Louisiana St. in North Park. Barraza’s father was in the courtroom and she said he had agreed to house his son, who is also a father of an 8-year-old boy.
Mangarin said Barraza is employed as a self-employed handyman and has epilepsy which resulted in seizures on Easter and a hospital visit. She said he had no violence in his history and the slaying may have resulted from some type of accident. She noted he did not attempt to flee the area after the incident.
Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy opposed setting any amount of bail, saying there were no changed circumstances since the arraignment. She said there was a flight risk and Barraza was also a risk to public safety.
Reedy said the driver of the Ford Focus was parked in the 4600 block of Bancroft Street in North Park with Guardado inside the car. She said once Barraza learned Guardado was in the car, he went over to the vehicle with a knife.
Barraza tried to cut Guardado’s hair with the knife, said the prosecutor. Guardado is Native American. Barraza stabbed Guardado in the leg under the knee, and it hit an artery, which resulted in a lot of blood loss in the vehicle.
The driver attempted to drive Guardado to a hospital but police stopped it at the intersection of El Cajon Blvd. and Texas St. for excessive speed. Officers attempted life-saving efforts and paramedics rushed Guardado to a hospital, where he died.
The preliminary hearing was rescheduled for June 23. Barraza, who stood behind a glass module while dressed in jail clothes and a white mask, did not say anything.
— Neal Putnam is a local court reporter.