Jose Nunez Torres, 22, and Gustavo Ceron, 25, are charged with the Oct. 12, 2016 robbery of Robert Hill in his home in La Jolla in which a gun was pointed at his head.
A week earlier, Torres allegedly shot and killed Leticia Arroyo, 34, in her townhome in Santee near Mission Gorge Road. She had been shot in the head.
Deputy District Attorney Jim Koerber said Tuesday his office has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty or a life sentence without parole if Torres is convicted.
Koerber said the special circumstances allege that Arroyo was killed during a robbery, a burglary and that Torres was lying in wait to commit the slaying.
Both men were ordered to stand trial in the home invasion robbery and Torres was held to answer for the murder in a 3-day preliminary hearing in El Cajon Superior Court two weeks ago.
On Monday, both men pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set for Jan. 22, 2018. The case will stay in El Cajon because of the murder in Santee.
Hill testified he saw both men climbing through the kitchen window one night. He said a pistol was pointed at his face and the bandits took cash and credit cards before leaving.
Torres has been in jail since Oct. 16, 2016, but Ceron was not apprehended until Feb. 8 by a fugitive task force. Torres’ bail is $1 million, and Ceron’s bail is $305,000 and they remain behind bars.