The suspect in a murder investigation out of rural Paso Robles last month made his first court appearance Tuesday in connection with the case.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office filed the criminal complaint against Fausto Ortega Maldonado Monday afternoon charging him with murder for the death of Primitivo Pacheco Ortega, 20, and alleging a knife was used to commit the crime.
A day later, he appeared in a San Luis Obispo Courtroom for his arraignment but did not enter a plea.
Maldonado has been in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail since July 18 for a probation violation. The sheriff's office says at the time of his booking, he was already a suspect in Ortega's killing; however, he was not booked on the murder charge until Friday.
Ortega's body was found with multiple stab wounds at about 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, July 7, off the side of Estrella Road near Hog Canyon Road.
At a press conference Monday, Sheriff Ian Parkinson said Ortega was killed en route to the location or at the location off Estrella Road and that his body had been there less than 24-48 hours before he was found.
A motive for the murder has not been disclosed. The sheriff's office says the killing is not gang-related.
Parkinson says Maldonado is a felon who was previously convicted of domestic violence. He is also reportedly in the country illegally, has been deported previously and is currently wanted by ICE. Sheriff Parkinson says his department has been in contact with ICE about this case.
Ortega reportedly lived in the Paso Robles/San Miguel area. However, officials say he was also undocumented.
Maldonado is being held without bail and is due back in court next week.