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Pre-trial delayed for man accused of killing girl, 15

May 14, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

The pre-trial hearing set for today for Brawley resident Pedro Gutierrez Archuleta, accused of killing a 15-year-old girl last week, has been delayed.

Information was unavailable this morning on when a new pre-trial would be scheduled.

A preliminary hearing was to take place May 21 and it was unclear this morning whether that hearing might be delayed.

Archuleta was arraigned Thursday in jail court and Superior Court Judge Matias Contreras said Archuleta would be assigned legal counsel.

The county Public Defender's Office was to be assigned the case but has declared a conflict and another attorney was to be assigned the case.


Few new details have been released about the murder.

Archuleta was arrested May 7, hours after 15-year-old Jovita Becerra was murdered in the Brawley apartment she shared with her mother.

Authorities have said she was stabbed several times. In addition, Deputy District Attorney Karla Davis released this morning that Jovita also suffered an internal head injury, although she was unsure what specifically caused that wound.

Authorities have not released specific information as to what led them to arrest Archuleta, the live-in boyfriend of one of Jovita's older sisters.

Authorities have said only that evidence gathered and witness information led them to Archuleta, who remains in the county jail with bail set at $1 million. Davis said investigators still are trying to piece together a motive for the attack.

Authorities have said there was no forced entry into the apartment and there were no signs Jovita was sexually assaulted.

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

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