A judge set a $3 million bail for the El Cajon man accused of killing his mother and trying to kill his brother.
Erik Margain, 34, pleaded not guilty to murder and premediated attempted murder at his video arraignment Wednesday.
Earlier that day, San Diego County Sheriff’s investigators served a search warrant to Margain’s home on Hidden Crest Drive that he shared with his mother and brother. It’s where Martha Margain-Velarde, 63, was found fatally beaten Sunday, with serious injuries to her upper body.
Margain’s brother Carlos was also beaten, but he was able to escape and call for help. Carlos is still in the hospital.
The prosecutor told NBC 7 he could not discuss a possible motive because the case is still under investigation.
Now, family and friends are left with more questions than answers about why the mother of three boys was so brutally killed.
Neighbor Susan Bulster, who said she’s known the victim for 20 years, went to court to support her friend, whom she described as an involved, dedicated mother.
“I think it’s terrible because it’s the loss of my friend, of a lovely lady who had a large family who loved her,” said Bulster. “And I don’t know what the reason is or was, but to me it just seems so empty now.”
Bulster said Martha was a complete homemaker who always cooked and had gatherings for her neighbors and family.
Margain, according to Bulster, would walk up and down their street slowly, like he was not feeling well.
“They were busy at work and the son in question for some reason had just been at home day to day up and down the street,” said Bulster. “And I still would wave and he would wave at me but it was different. I felt uncomfortable.”
Margain has a twin brother, Andy, who was in Australia at the time of the killing, NBC 7 has learned. He is now back in East County.