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Transient to stand trial for murder in Escondido stabbing

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 21:21:11-04

VISTA (CNS) - A homeless man accused of fatally stabbing a fellow transient outside an Escondido fast-food restaurant was ordered today to stand trial on a murder charge.

John Christopher Burns, 48, is accused of stabbing Jose De Jesus Martinez in the neck shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, outside the Burger King on West Valley Parkway.

According to preliminary hearing testimony, witnesses said Burns made statements indicating he believed the 32-year-old victim was trying to steal his bicycle, which had been left outside the restaurant.

Martinez was taken to Palomar Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Escondido Police Department.

Burns was arrested by San Diego County sheriff's deputies at the Pala Casino one day after Martinez's death.

He's due back in court Sept. 2 for a Superior Court arraignment.