Meth user sentenced for hacking man to death with machete

SAN DIEGO – A drug abuser who hacked a close family friend to death with a machete during an argument at a Rolando home last year was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Friday.

Vincent Salas Garza, 22, pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Vincente Carrera.

Deputy District Attorney David McNees said Carrera was listed on Garza's birth certificate as his father, but DNA proved that not to be the case. Carrera had a long, ongoing relationship with Garza's mother and aunt, the prosecutor said.

McNees said Garza lived at the home on Waite Street with others and Carrera was a regular visitor.

Carrera's body was found in an enclosed back patio the morning of Nov. 6. Investigators believe he was killed around 10 the night before.

McNees said Garza delivered a fatal blow to the back of the victim's head and other blows to Carrera's face. A machete was recovered at the scene.

Police said Garza changed clothes after the killing and fled to Phoenix, Arizona, where he was arrested a week later.

In a police bulletin issued last November, Garza was described as a heavy methamphetamine user who was known to be violent and carry knives.