Man admits stabbing uncle to death at Pacific Beach condo

Randy Bautista Baisa, 37, was ordered held on $2 million bail in the death of Merlino Bautista.

SAN DIEGO — A man who fatally stabbed his 66-year-old uncle during an argument in their Pacific Beach condominium pleaded guilty Thursday to a second-degree murder charge.

Randy Bautista Baisa, 39, withdrew a not guilty by reason of insanity plea Thursday in connection with the Jan. 17, 2018, killing of Merlino Bautista. Authorities said the defendant and the victim lived together.

Baisa is expected to be sentenced to 15 years to life on Aug. 12, according to San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello.

Prosecutors said Baisa — who has significant mental health issues, according to the prosecution and defense — stabbed his uncle 16 times, mostly in the back. One stab wound to the left arm severed an artery, the prosecutor said.

A neighbor at The Plaza Condominiums complex on Diamond Street called 911 in the early morning hours of Jan. 17 after the mortally wounded Bautista knocked on the door asking for help.

Bautista was laying on the ground of a second-floor hallway when officers arrived on scene and immediately began administering medical aid, police said. He was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Police found Baisa — who they believed stabbed Bautista inside their residence — at the complex and arrested him.

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