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Archuleta: Attorney appointed

May 21, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

The pre-trial hearing for the man accused of killing 15-year-old Jovita Becerra has been pushed back to May 30 and a preliminary hearing has been tentatively set for June 3.

The new court dates have come as El Centro-area attorney Brooks Anderholt has been assigned by the Superior Court to represent Pedro Gutierrez Archuleta, who remains in the county jail with his bail set at $1 million.

Anderholt said this morning he could not comment on the case as he was just given it last week and needs time to review the matter. Deputy District Attorney Deborah Owen has been assigned to prosecute the case.


Archuleta was arrested May 7 in his Brawley home hours after Jovita was stabbed to death in the Brawley apartment she shared with her mother. Police said this morning they are continuing to try to determine a motive for the attack.

Police said evidence and witness reports led them to Archuleta, who is the live-in boyfriend of one of Jovita's older sisters. Archuleta and the sister have children together.

According to investigators Jovita was stabbed several times and suffered an internal head injury. Brawley police Lt. John Myers said police still are trying to determine the type of weapon used in the stabbing.

There were no signs that her killer had forced entry into the apartment.

Police have said Jovita was dropped off at the apartment in the late afternoon on May 6. She apparently was alone in the apartment when the murder occurred.

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

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