Photo by bloomsberries / via Flickr

A parolee accused of strangling a Vista woman he had dated must stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Vista Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney ruled that prosecutors produced enough evidence at a preliminary hearing for Nathan Carmello Rivera to order him to proceed to trial on a murder charge, along with an auto theft count.

Prosecutors allege Rivera, 43, strangled Donna Hixon, 49, last fall in a motor home parked on a residential property in the 1000 block of La Rueda Drive.

Deputies responding to a reported assault on Nov. 18 in the rural neighborhood found Hixon dead, and an autopsy determined that she had been strangled, according to the sheriff’s department.

Rivera was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of auto theft the following evening, and was later rebooked in connection with Hixon’s death.

Trial was scheduled for Nov. 14.

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