Seven witnesses testified in the preliminary hearing of Randy Bautista Baisa, 37, who is charged with killing Merlino Baustista in the apartment they shared at 1855 Diamond Street in Pacific Beach on Jan. 17.
San Diego Police detective Sgt. Luke Johnson testified Baisa was living with his uncle after he was released from some type of program. Baustista had “taken in Randy” several times before, but also kicked him out previously due to his drug problem and mental health issues, he added.
Johnson said Baisa admitted to stabbing his uncle after he was arrested. He said Baisa had several visits to a drug rehabilitation program.
A neighbor, Liliana Schlierf, testified Baustista knocked loudly on her door at 1:15 a.m. Jan. 17. She said Baustista had lost a lot of blood and was saying “help me, help me!”
Schlierft said she said Baisa crouched down in the hallway and she said to him, “You did this!” She said he responded by saying “no, no,” and he quickly left.
Her husband, Gary Schlierft, testified finding Baustista in a pool of blood in the hallway. He recalled three years ago when the uncle banged on his door to call 911 when his nephew was hallucinating.
Police officer Evan Hughes testified paramedics took Baustista to Scipps La Jolla Hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 2:01 a.m.
Officer Richard Sullivan told San Diego Superior Court Judge Lorna Alksne he found a kitchen knife on a futon bed in the living room where Baisa was arrested.
Detective Robert Korbecki testified Baustista slept on a futon bed in the living room and let his nephew sleep in a bed in the only bedroom. He said there were hand-written instructions taped to a wall for Baisa to do if he becomes manic, such as to “stay in Pacific Beach.”
Also there were goals for Baisa to consider that were taped on the wall. Korbecki said the bent, bloody knife was found on the futon bed where Baustista slept.
Dr. Abu Bakr Marzouk, a deputy medical examiner who performed the autopsy, said Baustista suffered 18 stab wounds. He said two wounds to the back also punctured both lungs and were fatal.
Marzouk said an artery was severed on Baustista’s arm which also contributed to his death.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello and Baisa’s attorney Stephen Cline submitted the case to Alksne without making any arguments. Alksne said she found probable cause to conclude Baisa committed the murder and ordered him to trial.
Cline said his client had “substantial mental health history” that included multiple hospitalizations. Family members attended the hearing.
Baisa will return to court April 27 to set a trial date. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail on $2 million bail.