LA JOLLA, Calif. — A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death and leaving her body in an SUV in a Carlsbad parking lot pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday during an arraignment at a La Jolla hospital.
John Carlo Monta, 28, who is battling lymphoma and recently underwent a bone marrow transfusion, entered his plea to Judge Martin Staven at UC San Diego Thornton Hospital.
The judge ordered that Monta be held without bail.
An allegation that he used a knife in the killing was added to the murder charge, so Monta faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted.
The victim, 24-year-old Joanne Javier of San Diego, was discovered last Friday with a chest wound in an SUV parked at Van Allen Way and Faraday Avenue. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Carlsbad police officials said.
Monta was arrested about six hours later at his apartment on Dunlap Street in the Linda Vista section of San Diego.
According to broadcast reports, co-workers said the victim and Monta were having relationship problems and have a 3-year-old son together.
Monta recently took a leave of absence from EZ Lube oil change on Genesee Avenue in Clairemont because of his cancer.
No details about the case were discussed during the hearing.
The judge scheduled a readiness conference for Nov. 27 at the Vista Courthouse and a preliminary hearing for Nov. 29.