A Rancho Bernardo man accused of stabbing and killing his neighbor argued over borrowing the victim’s car the year before the killing.
Richard “Dale” Munsinger, 72, was found unresponsive and suffering from stab wounds at his home on High Park Lane on March 29.
Munsinger’s neighbor, Howard “Forrest” Lowe, was arrested by San Diego police in connection with the stabbing.
"They were friends," Munsinger’s wife Joanne testified in a pretrial hearing on Thursday. "He used to help with a lot of jobs."
She added that Lowe was considered part of the family and was often invited over on holidays. She also said she and her husband paid him for the work he did.
Lowe stopped doing odd jobs for the couple in December 2016. Lowe said he had cut off his finger while working in the Munsinger’s garage.
Two months later, Munsinger told Lowe he could no longer use the couple’s spare car because he had damaged the vehicle.
Lowe had been using the car since the fall of 2015, the widow testified, and she said the decision angered the defendant.
Fabian Ramirez, 22, was working at another home on High Park Drive on the day of the stabbing.
He testified that Lowe walked across the street and pulled something dark out of his pocket while heading toward Munsinger's garage.
Then, he saw Lowe on top of the victim hitting him with a stabbing motion.
Under cross-examination, another man who was working near the crime scene testified the defendant told him he was raped by the victim.
He looked into our vehicle and said 'He raped me,'" said restoration technician Thomas Sandoval.
Munsinger's widow testified she never witnessed Lowe being violent toward her husband before the attack
The judge at Thursday's ruling ordered Lowe be bound over for trial. She also ruled the allegation of rape would not decrease the severity of the charge Lowe faces. He'll still be tried on first-degree murder.
He's due to return to court at the end of October.