An Oregon man who stabbed a La Mesa resident more than 30 times with a sword was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in state prison, closing a case that was without a suspect for nearly a dozen years until DNA tied him to the murder scene.
Zachary Bunney, 39, pleaded guilty last month to a voluntary manslaughter charge stemming from the slaying of 47-year-old Scott Martinez, who was killed in his apartment on June 17, 2006.
According to testimony at Bunney’s preliminary hearing, his girlfriend at the time of the killing occasionally babysat the victim’s daughter, and the defendant had come to believe Martinez was paying his girlfriend for her work with sex and/or drugs.
After the case went cold, investigators submitted DNA from blood left at the crime scene for genetic genealogy testing, the same technology that led to the identification and arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected Golden State Killer.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson said blood later connected to Bunney was found in the bathroom of Martinez’s apartment, where it’s believed the defendant cleaned a wound he sustained when attacking the victim.
He also apparently left blood somewhere beneath the window of Martinez’s second-story apartment, which Bunney smashed out and leapt through to escape the crime scene, Erickson said.
Bunney, who left the state shortly after the killing, was arrested in Oregon in January of this year.
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