A San Diego man accused of shooting and killing a Santee woman in her home listened to testimony in a pretrial hearing Tuesday.
Jose Luis Nunez-Torres, 21, faces a single count of murder for the Oct. 4 killing of Leticia Arroyo.
The courtroom was packed with the victim's family and the atmosphere was tense. But the defendant Nunez-Torres sat still with a stony expression glued to his face. He showed no reaction throughout the hearing.
"I miss my sister a lot. I think about her every day," said Steven Chavez, the victim's brother. "To be here today gives my family some closure. But we miss her very much."
Arroyo's roommate found the victim unconscious on the floor of their shared townhome on Mission Greens Road near Mission Gorge around 10:40 p.m.
San Diego County sheriff’s deputies said they found blood evidence in the street near Arroyo’s townhome.
The victim died from a gunshot wound to the head, an employee of the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office testified. Her body was found on the floor of the townhome between a couch and an ottoman, the deputy medical examiner said.
Nunez-Torres was arrested a month after the alleged killing took place. At the time of his arrest, he was in custody for an unrelated crime.
The family of Arroyo said they want justice for the victim.
Two other witnesses testified that their cars were stolen prior to the killing. Police said they found a photo of the victim in one of the stolen cars.
The preliminary hearing is expected to last several days. Arroyo's family plans to appear in court every day to honor her memory.
"My sister was a very loving person, had a big heart. Very funny, was a leader. And will definitely be missed every day," added Chavez, with a mournful calmness.