Carlsbad case charging ex-boyfriend with murder to go to trial

VISTA — A judge ruled Aug. 21 that John Carlo Monta will be tried at the Vista Courthouse for the fatal stabbing of his former girlfriend Joanne Javier in Carlsbad last year. 

Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso argued in court that Monta had killed Javier because he was upset that she had started dating someone else and was considering moving back to the Philippines with their young son without him.

After hearing multiple witness and detective testimonies over a two-day preliminary hearing, Judge Timothy M. Casserly ruled that there was enough evidence against 29-year-old Monta for the case to proceed to trial.

On Nov. 9, 2012, 24-year-old Javier was found stabbed to death in her car in the parking lot of the Carlsbad dental office where she worked.

Javier’s boss, Dr. Ida Alfonso, and co-worker Jesselle Buntan testified in court that Javier had told them that she was going to meet Monta for lunch that day.

When Javier did not return from lunch, Alfonso went to look for her and found her blood-covered body in the passenger seat of her green SUV.

She began screaming and people nearby called 911.

Carlsbad Fire was the first to respond to the scene, located off of Van Allen Way, and upon arrival declared Javier dead.

Carlsbad Police Detective Jeff Smith, who investigated the case, testified that Monta was identified as a suspect because he was the last person to have been in contact with Javier that day.

Smith said that Monta was arrested at his San Diego home and a search found Javier’s car keys in his possession. Investigators also found blood spots on the driver’s side door of his car.

Grasso said that Smith stated during the second day of the hearing that Monta told him during the investigation that, “She (Javier) was breaking up the family.”

Alfonso and Buntan stated in court that Javier had broken up with Monta and had started seeing someone else before she was killed. They also said that she had planned on taking a month-long vacation to the Philippines in December 2012 with her mother and her young son, who she had had with Monta.

Grasso stated in court that the San Diego Medical Examiner had determined that Javier had sustained multiple stab wounds all over her body. The examiner ruled the case a homicide and that Javier died from stab wounds to her neck with contributing wounds to her torso.

Represented by Marcee Chipman, Monta has been charged with first-degree murder and knife allegations and faces several decades in prison if convicted.

Monta, who is battling cancer according to his attorney, appeared in court in a dark blue jail uniform and handcuffs and wore a medical mask that covered his mouth and nose.

He listened silently to his Tagalog court interpreter throughout the first day of the hearing.

His parents attended the hearing.

Monta is being held medical unit of the San Diego Central Jail. The case is scheduled to come before the court Sept. 11, according Grasso.

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