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Carlsbad home invasion victim was fatally stabbed 50 times, prosecutors say

Posted at 2:37 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 20:58:03-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) — Prosecutors Wednesday say two transients accused of a deadly home invasion robbery this week stabbed the victim 50 times in the face, neck, and back.

Ian Bushee, 37, and Malissa James, 26, are both accused of breaking into a home in the 1800 block of Outrigger Lane just after midnight Monday. During the break-in the victim, identified as 63-year-old Marjorie Gawitt, was stabbed multiple times.

Gawitt was still able to call 911 to report the incident and was conscious and breathing when police arrived. She was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, where she died of her injuries.

RELATED: Police identify suspects in deadly Carlsbad stabbing, burglary

Bushee and James fled the scene in Gawitt's vehicle, according to police. The vehicle was found in San Marcos and the two were arrested in the 4800 block of Park Drive later Monday.

Each has been charged with homicide, burglary, conspiracy, and auto theft. Bushee was also charged with accessory after the fact. James also also charged with torture. The pair was already on probation in San Bernardino for residential burglary.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty of all charges.

Bail was not set for Bushee or James, as they were determined to be a threat to the community.

Both face the death penalty. A readiness hearing is scheduled for March 21, and a preliminary hearing is set for March 27.