Escondido Man Pleads Not Guilty in Killing of Older Sister

Jose Bautista, 25, is accused of critically injuring his older sister, Laura Bautista, during an altercation on Jan. 18 in Escondido

An Escondido man accused of inflicting deadly injuries on his older sister during a family fight pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance Friday.

Jose Enrique Bautista, 25, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his sister, Laura Bautista, 27. If convicted he could face 25 years to life in prison.

According to the Escondido Police Department, Laura was gravely injured on Jan. 18 when the siblings got into a fight at a home on E. 15th Street. The altercation left Laura hospitalized with critical injuries. She died a few days later.

Deputy District Attorney Chandelle Konstanzer said Jose was out on bail on a separate felony arrest at the time of the assault, which was in some part why the judge ordered him to remain in custody without bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7.

The motive for the deadly fight between the siblings is unknown.

An online fundraising page set up on Laura's behalf said she leaves behind three young children who "need emotional support as well as financial support now more than ever." At last check Friday, the GoFundMe page had raised more than $1,600 for the mother's family.

The investigation is ongoing.

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