Man sentenced for stabbing and killing his uncle

PACIFIC BEACH, Calif. — A man who fatally stabbed his 66-year-old uncle during an argument in their Pacific Beach condominium was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in state prison.

Randy Bautista Baisa, 39, pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in connection with the 2018, killing of Merlino Bautista. Authorities said the defendant and the victim lived together.

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.

Baisa previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but withdrew that plea in May.

A neighbor at The Plaza Condominiums complex on Diamond Street called 911 in the early morning hours of Jan. 17, 2018, after the mortally wounded Bautista knocked on the door asking for help.

Bautista was 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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