Sheriff's vehicle
A San Diego Sheriff’s vehicle. Photo by Alexander Nguyen

An East County man who killed a fellow Lemon Grove resident during a fight near a home-improvement store a year ago pleaded guilty Wednesday to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Gustavo Flores, 39, is facing a 13-year prison sentence for the June 21, 2018, killing of 47-year-old Juan Martinez, who was attacked near Home Depot in the 7500 block of Broadway, according to sheriff’s officials.

Flores, who had faced a first-degree murder charge, is due to be sentenced on Oct. 9.

The mortally wounded victim pounded on the front door of a home near the Home Depot about 9 p.m., Lt. Rich Williams said. As a resident called 911, Martinez, who was bleeding from severe injuries to his upper body, collapsed and died.

Investigators believe the slaying stemmed from a dispute that the suspect and victim got into for unknown reasons in the commercial-residential neighborhood just south of state Route 94 and east of Massachusetts Avenue. Following an argument, Flores left the area, then returned a short time later and attacked Martinez with an undisclosed type of weapon, the lieutenant said.

Both men lived near the site of the fatal fight but apparently did not know each other, according to Williams.

Flores surrendered to police about a week after the killing.

City News Service