2 arrested in fatal beating at Chula Vista marina

SAN DIEGO — Two Chula Vista residents were behind bars Wednesday for allegedly bludgeoning a man to death last week during an argument at a marina in the South Bay city.

Kevin Haynes, 23, and Austin Lee Kirchner, 22, were arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the death of 40-year-old Rafael Cabrera, according to police.

About 8:30 p.m. on June 19, the three men got into a confrontation when someone in a group the suspects were with in a parking at J Street Marina insulted Cabrera’s girlfriend, Lt. Dan Peak said.

During the ensuing quarrel, one of the suspects allegedly grabbed Cabrera and held him while the other beat him on the head repeatedly with a metal pipe.

Haynes and Kirchner then got into a vehicle and drove off prior to the arrival of police, Peak alleged.

Medics took the unconscious victim to a trauma center, where he was placed on life support. He was pronounced dead two days later.

The suspects were booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder and were being held without bail pending arraignment.

Statements from witnesses and evidence at the crime scene led detectives to identify Haynes and Kirchner as the suspected killers, the lieutenant said.