2 men deny role in Pacific Beach murder

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SAN DIEGO -- Two men accused of involvement in the shooting death of a 44-year-old Pacific Beach resident in his home pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of murder and assault with a firearm.

Paul Weinberger, 50, and Freddy Sosa, 37, were each ordered held in lieu of $10 million bail.

Deputy District Attorney Flavio Nominati told Judge Maureen Hallahan that the defendants and other cohorts, some wearing masks and gloves and at least one armed with a shotgun, burst into the home in the 2300 block of Wilbur Avenue in the early morning hours of Dec. 29.

One resident, Marcanthony Mendivil, was shot and killed in his bedroom, the prosecutor said. Weinberger also lived at the residence, police said.

Nominati said police are still looking for another suspect in the case. Neither Weinberger nor Sosa are suspected of being the gunman, the prosecutor said. Each defendant, however, faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted, he said.

The prosecutor said the defendants pose a danger to the public and witnesses in the case. Weinberger allegedly made statements about witnesses "disappearing," the prosecutor said.

But Weinberger's attorney, Paul Pfingst, called the characterization "unfair," and said his client was a victim in the offense.

Pfingst said Weinberger's car was stolen during the crime.

At the end of the court hearing, Pfingst alerted the judge that his client had passed out, and Weinberger was rushed out of a holding tank.

A bail review and status conference was set for Jan. 18.

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