SAN DIEGO - A man who killed a woman he had been dating and leaving her body in a Talmadge motel room pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder.
On the day his preliminary hearing was scheduled to begin, Stacey Ricardo Johnson admitted killing 47-year-old Candace Vursula Hamilton. In a separate case, Johnson pleaded guilty to assaulting a fellow inmate while in custody.
The 44-year-old defendant will be sentenced to 17 years to life in state prison at a hearing June 20.
Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio told a judge last year that Johnson and Hamilton checked into the motel in the 4900 block of El Cajon Boulevard the evening of June 1.
The manager found her body in the room the next day. Di Tillio said the victim was bound, gagged and suffocated, and Johnson's DNA was found at the crime scene.
Johnson, of San Diego, was already in custody on an unrelated crime when he was booked into jail Oct. 4.