Trial date set for ex-Marine accused of killing girlfriend

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SAN DIEGO - A target trial date has been set for a former Marine from Vista charged by a federal grand jury for first-degree murder of his girlfriend in Panama.

During a hearing in federal court Monday, the prosecution and the defense agreed on a ball park date of February 8, 2016. The prosecution is also looking into seeking the death penalty.

A grand jury indictment alleges that Brian Brimager killed Yvonne Baldelli after the couple moved from Orange County in Panama in 2011. Brimager physically abused Baldelli, murdered her and went to great lengths to hide her body, according to court documents.

A grand jury charged Brimager with murder in April after her dismembered remains were found in a Panama swamp.

According to the indictment, it was around that time that Brimager started emailing another woman and told her he planned to move back to California to help raise their daughter. The e-mails did not mention Baldelli.

Brimager is accused of destroying evidence and sending many e-mails to Baldelli’s family pretending to be her so her family would think she was still alive.

Brimager pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, Brimager faces life in federal prison without the possibility of parole.