North County man denies murdering sister in family fight

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SAN DIEGO — A man who allegedly inflicted fatal injuries on his older sister during a family fight in Escondido pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge and was ordered held without bail.

Jose Enrique Bautista, 25, also faces an allegation that he was out on bail on another case when he allegedly killed 27-year-old Laura Bautista, prosecutor Chandelle Konstanzer said.

Patrol officers responding to a report of a medical emergency in the 100 block of East 15th Avenue found Laura Bautista badly hurt and unresponsive shortly before 1 a.m. last Friday.

Paramedics took her to Palomar Medical Center, where she was admitted in critical condition. Jose Bautista was arrested the day of the fatal fight — his birthday — and charged with attempted murder.

On Tuesday night, doctors pronounced the victim — a mother of three — dead, and her brother was re-booked on the murder charge.

Authorities have not disclosed what might have prompted the fight or specified the injuries suffered by the victim.

Bautista, who faces 28 years to life in prison if convicted, will be back in court Feb. 4 for a readiness conference and Feb. 7 for a preliminary hearing.

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