SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 17-year-old girl accused of fatally stabbing an Uber driver in National City pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and torture charges.
The teen appeared before the judge virtually, and while no one was allowed to physically be in the courtroom, her family as well as the victim’s family logged into the meeting.
The girl, whose name is being withheld due to her age, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder in connection with the stabbing death of 58-year-old Raquel Wehber.
- Friends speak out about Uber driver who was stabbed to death
- Uber driver stabbed to death in National City identified
- 1 person dead, 1 in custody after reported National City stabbing
Patrol officers responding to a 911 call about a woman being assaulted in the 1800 block of South Lanoitan Avenue in National City shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday found Wehber in her car, bloodied and unresponsive, according to police.
Paramedics tried to revive Wehber before pronouncing her dead at the scene.
"Citizens who witnessed the incident provided critical information to officers, which resulted in the immediate capture of the suspect a short distance from the scene," NCPD Sgt. Kenneth Springer said.
The circumstances that led to the fatal stabbing, including whether the suspect had been riding in the victim's vehicle, remain unclear.
"Detectives are in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the Uber account used during this incident," Springer said. "There is still no confirmation as to whether the suspect and Wehber were acquaintances. The motive for this crime is unknown at this time."
The victim was working a shift for the ride-hailing company at the time of her death, the sergeant said.
Following the girl's not guilty pleas entered during her Friday morning detention hearing, San Diego Superior Court Judge Ana Espana ordered that the girl remain in custody due to the seriousness of the charges. She is due back in court July 20 for a readiness hearing.