Randy Bautista Baisa, 37, appeared before San Diego Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom in blue jail clothing and pleaded not guilty to the murder of Merlino Baustista, 66.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello said Baisa stabbed his uncle 16 times, and severed an artery in his left arm that led to his death on Jan. 17 in the unit on Diamond Street near Lamont Street in Pacific Beach.
His attorney, Stephen Cline, said his client had “substantial mental health history” that included multiple hospitalizations.
Cline told Bloom he was concerned that Baisa was “still not on these medications” as of Monday despite him giving the jail info on the medications and dosage level. Bloom said he would make a note to the sheriff’s department to refer him to a jail psychiatrist for medication.
A March 28 preliminary hearing was set in the new courthouse at 1100 Union Street.
Pirrello said if Baisa is convicted of first-degree murder with a knife, he would face 26 years to life in prison.
Baisa was supposed to be arraigned Friday, but the jail could not produce him that day. Cline said he was told Baisa was “refusing to get dressed” to go to court. A deputy said in court Friday Baisa was under “enhanced observation” in jail.
The prosecutor said Baisa did not have any family ties in San Diego and had been living with his uncle as roommates for awhile. No motive for the slaying was mentioned.