Man accused of killing girlfriend speaks out from jail

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SAN DIEGO — A 42-year-old man charged with his girlfriend’s murder Saturday in Alpine spoke with FOX 5 from jail Monday and says he is innocent.

Paul Paraschak did not admit to any involvement in 27-year-old Melanie Benitez’s death, but he said he was high and drunk on Saturday, and hardly remembers anything.

“I didn’t ask for a lawyer because I’m not guilty,” said Paraschak from behind the glass at San Diego County Jail.

Paraschak says he knew Benitez for about the last four years. Deputies say they dated and lived with his parents in a quiet Alpine neighborhood.

This past weekend, things became far less quiet. Neighbors describe hearing a loud screech and gunshots Saturday afternoon and began calling 911. Authorities eventually found Paraschak’s car and Benitez’s body in a woman’s driveway on Victoria Drive. The afternoon ended in Parachak’s arrest.

“I know I’m innocent,” said Paraschak.

FOX 5 asked him directly if he shot Benitez, to which he responded, “No, I can’t speak on such matters. I can’t say anything, I can say that I’m not guilty.”

Paraschak says he knows Benitez is dead and said “it doesn’t make him feel good.”

According to online records, Paraschak has one prior criminal case from 2012. He is currently being held without bail and is scheduled to have his first appearance in court Wednesday.

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