SAN DIEGO — A man accused of fatally stabbing a 65-year-old clerk inside an adult bookstore in the Midway District pleaded not guilty Friday to felony murder charges that could lead to the death penalty if he’s convicted.
Shaun Ward, 39, was non-responsive and kept his head down during his arraignment. He was ordered held without bail in the death of 65-year-old Diane Spagnuolo of El Cajon.
Ward refused to answer questions from Judge Maureen Hallahan about his true name or date of birth.
The judge read Ward his constitutional rights and his attorney entered the not guilty plea for him.
Ward was charged with murder and special circumstance allegations that the murder was committed during a robbery and that the murder involved the infliction of torture.
“I want to know what happened. As for the family, they also want to know what happened and they do want to see this man held accountable for what he has done,” said Alexis Wylie, the victim’s daughter.
District Attorney Summer Stephan will decide later if Ward will face life in prison without the possibility of parole or capital punishment if he’s found guilty.
The victim was found dead inside the X Spot Adult Store on Midway Drive on Monday afternoon, according to San Diego police. Ward was arrested late that night at a residence in San Diego.
A surveillance camera in the adult shop captured images of Ward prior to the slaying, reported about 12:45 p.m., police said.
Ward will be back in court Nov. 14 for a status conference and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 16.