A Navy sailor accused of strangling a woman at a Midway-area motel last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and other charges.
Marquise Tyree Wisher, 27, was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly killing 32-year-old Rosa Jaco on May 4, according to San Diego police.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Matzger said the cause of death was strangulation and alleged that Wisher's DNA was found underneath the victim's fingernails.
Shortly after 11 p.m. that night, paramedics responding to a call for medical aid at a lodge in the 3800 block of Greenwood Street found Jaco unconscious and unresponsive.
"As the medics were administering CPR, other people in the area were becoming disruptive and impeding their efforts," Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
While trying to revive Jaco, the ambulance crew "noticed the condition of her body was inconsistent with the information they were being provided," Dobbs said.
Following an autopsy, the county Medical Examiner's Office ruled Jaco's death a homicide.
Police have declined to release further details about the case, including how the victim died.
Wisher is also charged with felony counts of assault and domestic violence for allegedly choking his wife on March 10. Matzger said his wife alleged she'd been choked by him previously and that there were 10 prior, unreported incidents of domestic violence.
Wisher is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and is due back in court Aug. 3 for a preliminary hearing. "To continue to protect the integrity of the investigation, we are not releasing the cause of death at this time," Lt. Andra Brown said in a statement last week announcing Wisher's arrest.