Dennis Lepage in a new York courtroom prior to his extradition to San Diego. Photo credit: Screen shot, wnyt.com

A former sailor has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 1975 death of another San Diego serviceman, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Dennis Lepage, 64, is slated to be sentenced July 30 for strangling Alvaro Marquez Espeleta, 28, on Dec. 31, 1975, at the victim’s Reynard Way home.

Espeleta’s nude body was found in the bedroom of his home by co-workers, who went to check on the naval dental technician after he failed to show up for work at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

Lepage was also in the Navy and stationed in San Diego at the time of Espeleta’s killing, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

According to testimony, Lepage was connected to the cold case through fingerprints and a palm print discovered on the victim’s body. Additional fingerprints were found in the victim’s bathroom and on a beer bottle inside his home.

Lepage’s fingerprints were on file due to a 2010 restraining order violation in Massachusetts, according to testimony. He was arrested in January of last year in Troy, New York.

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