In Case You Missed It: San Diego Weekend News Digest for Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019

Five local news stories from the previous week

ICYMI Template Saturday Dec7

To help make sure you stay informed on the most shared and talked about stories in San Diego County, each Saturday we'll revisit five stories from the previous week and capsulize them in this digest with the most recent updates.

1. US Rep. Duncan Hunter Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge

California Rep. Duncan Hunter, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds. The change of plea was a stunning shift for the six-term congressman, who spent the last two years denying wrongdoing, shifting blame to his wife, Margaret Hunter, and claiming he was the victim of a political witch hunt. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda was at the federal courthouse and provides more details.

“I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending. I made mistakes and that’s what today was all about,” he said in a brief statement outside the courthouse. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda reports.

2. 6 Marines Plead Guilty to Human, Drug Trafficking at Border

Six of the nearly two dozen Marines accused of participating in human and drug trafficking rings have pleaded guilty, the government confirmed Tuesday.

Twenty-three Marines were detained in July 2019 for alleged human trafficking, drug distribution, and weapons charge, according to the 1st Marine Division, which is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The department said 13 of the remaining 17 Marines requested separation from service instead of undergoing courts-martial. All 13 of their pre-trial requests were approved.

3. Mother Identified in Deadly Shooting in City Heights

Family members identified Julia Maria Serrano Avila as the woman who was shot and killed outside her City Heights home where police said her young children may have been inside. Her husband was arrested as the suspected gunman.

The 29-year-old mother was shot at least once in the upper body on the street outside a pawn shop on the 3800 block of 46th Street at about 5:30 a.m., SDPD Sgt. Michelle Velovich said.

Medics attempted to save Julia Maria Serrano Avila life for about 30 minutes, but she succumbed to her injuries, police said. NBC 7’s Melissa Adan spoke with one of the witnesses. 

NBC 7's Melissa Adan has more information on the mother who was shot and killed by her husband outside their City Heights home.

4. Jury Finds Man Guilty in Death of Man Found in Barrel on San Diego Bay

A jury found Timothy John Cook, 52, guilty of second-degree murder Thursday in the stabbing death of a man whose body was found floating inside a barrel on the San Diego Bay in 2017.

Cook was one of two men on trial in connection with the death of 28-year-old Omar Medina, whose decomposed body was found stuffed inside a 55-gallon drum floating just off the Chula Vista marina on Oct. 12.

5. La Bodega Gallery Closing Its Doors Due to Increasing Rent

La Bodega Gallery, a long-time mainstay of the Barrio Logan’s arts district, is forced to close its doors due to increasing rent. The gallery owners said they were not able afford the new rent and did not negotiate a new lease. Their last show will be held on Dec. 14. NBC 7s Nicole Gomez has more details.

A long time mainstay of the Barrio Logan Arts District is being pushed out due to increasing rent, according to La Bodega owners.
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