Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

A Chula Vista resident accused in the hatchet killing of a man whose body was found behind a bank pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge.

Angel Padilla, 37, is charged in the Dec. 9 killing of Abraham Raymond Alvarez. Officers found the victim’s body slumped alongside a wall behind the Bank of America branch office at 295 E St. about 10:30 that night, according to Chula Vista police Lt. Miriam Foxx.

The victim “was bleeding from several head wounds” and was pronounced dead at the scene, the lieutenant said.

Padilla was arrested just before noon the following day in the 300 block of Third Avenue, a few blocks away from the bank.

Police have not disclosed a suspected motive for the killing or whether Padilla and Alvarez knew one another, but did say Padilla was spotted on surveillance footage with “a hatchet-type weapon near where the victim was found.”

Padilla remains in custody on $2 million bail. His next court date is a Feb. 4 readiness conference.

— City News Service