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Arraignment slated for man who allegedly stabbed infant cousin in neck

July 19, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

Benjamin Jason Escobar, who allegedly stabbed his 7-month-old cousin in the neck and left him to die in a trash can in Imperial on May 14, is set to be arraigned for attempted premeditated murder.

He will face an arraignment July 26, at which time he will be asked to enter a plea.

Escobar, a Huntington Park resident who had been staying with family at the time of the attack, remains in custody with his bail set at $1 million.

The District Attorney's Office has alleged on May 14 Escobar stabbed his cousin, Anthony Escalera, in the neck, then left him in a trash bin and covered by a white trash bag. The bin was across from the family's home.

Anthony was found by authorities shortly after they arrived at the scene and survived the attack.

In earlier hearings, it was alleged by authorities that Escobar first planned to kill an 8-year-old cousin at the Imperial home but he decided Anthony would be an easier target.

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It also was said Escobar told officers he heard voices that told him to kill.

El Centro-based attorney Thomas Storey has been retained by Escobar's family.

Storey said this morning Escobar would plead not guilty, but added he is "very strenuously" considering other pleas.

He declined to speak in greater detail about the issue.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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