Man charged with murder in Alpine shooting, claims innocence

SAN DIEGO -- A murder charge was filed Wednesday against a man who allegedly shot his girlfriend in her East County hometown last weekend.

Paul Alan Paraschak, 42, faces 50 years to life in state prison if convicted of killing 27-year-old Melanie Benitez.

Paraschak gave FOX 5 an interview from jail Monday, maintaining his innocence.

Deputies responding to reports of gunfire found Benitez mortally wounded near a parked vehicle in the 2800 block of Victoria Drive in Alpine shortly before 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Medics pronounced her dead at the scene, sheriff's Lt. Rich Williams said.

Patrol personnel found Paraschak walking in the area and took him into custody without incident. The suspect was carrying two handguns at the time, Williams alleged.

Officials have released no suspected motive for the slaying.

Paraschak is being held without bail and is due back in court March 7 for a readiness conference.

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