OCEANSIDE — A Vista Superior Court judge found enough evidence Dec. 17 to order an Oceanside man to stand trial for the murder of his roommate , who was also his aunt’s lover.
Judge Joel Pressman bound over Jesus Borja, 28, on a single count of first-degree murder in connection with the May 18 slaying of migrant worker Ramon Garcia Hilario. An additional enhancement that Borja used a knife to commit the murder is attached to the charge.
If convicted, Borja faces 26 years to life in prison. Prosecutors said they wouldn’t be seeking the death penalty in the case. Pressman scheduled an arraignment date of Jan. 14, at which time Borja will enter a plea and a trial date may be set.
Prosecutors allege an intoxicated Borja stabbed Hilario to death because he was upset about his aunt’s relationship with Hilario.
Borja’s family owned and lived in the home on Stephanie Avenue in Oceanside where the murder occurred, according to witness testimony. They rented the back patio out to migrant workers, who blocked out their sleeping area with hang sheets, witnesses said.
Throughout the day and a half preliminary hearing, there were no eye witnesses to the stabbing; however, one renter said he woke to Hilario gasping for help as the defendant was on top of him with the knife. He said both men were covered in blood.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Ron Vanesian, Borja’s brother, Gilberto Vasquez, testified that his family had taken issue with Hilario’s treatment of his aunt and her kids.
“We felt bad about the way the gentleman treated our aunt,” Vasquez said.
Defense witness Pedro Castaneda, a former renter, testified Hilario always carried a knife on him and made blanket threats of harm to anyone who got between him and Borja’s aunt. Other renters and Borja’s aunt denied these allegations.
Borja remains in custody in lieu of $5 million.