SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A man accused in the fatal shooting of a Cathedral Catholic High School teacher appeared in a San Diego courtroom Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. At the end of the hearing a judge decided there was enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
Jesse Milton Alvarez is accused in the Feb. 1, 2021, killing of 37-year-old Mario Fierro outside of his home on Kansas Street in North Park.
Authorities said on the morning of the incident, Alvarez waited for about an hour outside of Fierro’s home. Alvarez, according to authorities, approached Fierro just after 7 a.m. and opened fire. Fierro was struck multiple times and died at the scene.
Alvarez was arrested later that night at a home in the Serra Mesa area.
It was an emotional morning in the courtroom, especially when Mario Fierro’s fiancée took the stand where she was overcome with emotion talking about him.
Fierro’s fiancée said in court, “My relationship with Mario was the most genuine relationship I’ve been in my entire life. He was patient and loyal.”
Alvarez sat and did not show much emotion as his ex-girlfriend spoke about Fierro.
Prosecutors alleged Alvarez was fixated on his former girlfriend, who was engaged to Fierro. Despite having broken up, Alvarez could not get over the end of the relationship, according to prosecutors.
Court documents showed the woman had filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Alvarez after they dated for three and a half years.
According to the documents, the woman said Alvarez “engaged in a pattern of control, manipulation, and emotional abuse.
After their break-up, the woman claimed Alvarez’s behavior became “erratic and escalated over time.”
In the documents, the woman named several instances where she said Alvarez stalked her.
She said she was forced to change locks on her door and installed cameras. She also stated Alvarez “attempted to break in” to her home on one occasion.
A judge dismissed the case in January 2020, saying she “did not meet her burden of proof that abuse has occurred within the meaning of the Domestic Violence Protection Act.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, investigators said Alvarez purchased three classes at a gun range before the shooting.
According to investigators, Alvarez allegedly asked an instructor questions such as “Where’s the best place to shoot someone to kill them?”
Alvarez is charged with murder, a firearm-use allegation and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. The special circumstance allegation means Alvarez could face the death penalty, if prosecutors elect to pursue it.