A San Diego police cruiser.
A San Diego police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

An 18-year-old man accused of fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend at their apartment in San Diego’s Mountain View neighborhood pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.

Jorge Manuel Sanchez allegedly gunned down 19-year-old Emily Cortez inside an apartment at a residential complex in the 4500 block of Imperial Avenue shortly before 4:30 p.m. July 15.

Sanchez faces 50 years to life in state prison if convicted of murder and an allegation of using a handgun in the killing.

San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said officers arriving on scene found a person providing medical aid to Cortez on the upstairs walkway of the complex.

Cortez was suffering from a gunshot wound to her chest and was later pronounced dead at the scene, Brown said.

Detectives arrested Sanchez later in the day on suspicion of murdering Cortez.

Police did not disclose a suspected motive for the shooting, but said Sanchez and Cortez lived in the apartment together and were in a relationship.

Following his Thursday afternoon video arraignment, Sanchez was ordered held on $2 million bail. He is due back in court Aug. 7 for a bail review hearing.

— City News Service