Man sentenced to 13 years for fatal fight near Home Depot

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EL CAJON, Calif. — An East County man who fatally stabbed a fellow Lemon Grove resident during a fight near a home improvement store last year was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in state prison.

Gustavo Flores, 39, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a voluntary manslaughter charge in connection with the June 21, 2018, killing of 47-year-old Juan Martinez, who was attacked near Home Depot in the 7500 block of Broadway.

The mortally wounded victim pounded on the front door of a home near the Home Depot about 9 p.m., sheriff’s Lt. Rich Williams said. As a resident called 911, Martinez, who was bleeding from severe injuries to his upper body, collapsed and died.

Investigators believe the slaying stemmed from a dispute that the suspect and victim got into for unknown reasons in the commercial-residential neighborhood just south of state Route 94 and east of Massachusetts Avenue. Following an argument, Flores left the area, then returned a short time later and attacked Martinez, the lieutenant said.

Both men lived near the site of the fatal fight but apparently did not know each other, according to Williams.

Flores surrendered to police about a week after the killing.

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