LA JOLLA, Calif. - A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death and leaving her body in an SUV in a Carlsbad parking lot pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday during an arraignment at a La Jolla hospital.
John Carlo Monta, 28, who is battling lymphoma and recently underwent a bone marrow transfusion, entered his plea to Judge Martin Staven at UC San Diego Thornton Hospital.
The judge ordered that Monta be held without bail.
An allegation that he used a knife in the killing was added to the murder charge, so Monta faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted.
The victim, 24-year-old Joanne Javier of San Diego, was discovered last Friday with a chest wound in an SUV parked at Van Allen Way and Faraday Avenue. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Carlsbad police officials said.
According to broadcast reports, co-workers said the victim and Monta were having relationship problems, and have a 3-year-old son together.
Monta recently took a leave of absence from EZ Lube oil change on Genesee Avenue in Clairemont because of his cancer.
No details about the case, including a motive, were discussed during the hearing.
The judge scheduled a readiness conference for Nov. 27 at the Vista Courthouse and a preliminary hearing for Nov. 29.