Julia Hernandez-Santiago
Julia Hernandez-Santiago. Courtesy, Carlsbad police

A Poway man has been convicted of first-degree murder and rape charges stemming from the cold case involving the death of a woman in Carlsbad in the 1980s.

James Charles Kingery, 57, was found guilty by a Vista jury of killing Julia Hernandez-Santiago, 26, whose body was found on Oct. 10, 1987 on an ivy-covered embankment on Alga Road.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangulation.

While a suspect was not identified at the time of the killing, DNA collected from the crime scene led to Kingery’s arrest in the summer of 2020, nearly 33 years after Hernandez-Santiago’s death.

A few months prior to his arrest, Kingery was taken into custody on suspicion of narcotics and weapons violations. A DNA sample taken then was later matched to samples from the homicide case, according to Carlsbad police.

He faces up to 25 years to life in state prison at his sentencing, currently scheduled for next month.

– City News Service