SAN DIEGO (TCD) -- A 47-year-old man is accused of killing his stepmother and half-brother because they potentially witnessed him committing sex crimes.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced they charged Marco Antonio Valadez with two counts of murder and sexual assault. The District Attorney’s Office alleges he fatally shot his 55-year-old stepmother, Raquel Pitsenburger, and his half-brother, 36-year-old Marco Antonio Valadez Jr., on Dec. 4 because he was "trying to silence family members who were potential witnesses following the disclosure of his sex crimes."
According to the District Attorney’s Office statement, Valadez allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old family member two days before Valadez Jr. and Pitsenburger were killed. The charges against him also reportedly carry "special circumstances of killing a witness, multiple homicides, and allegations of personal discharge of a firearm causing death and committing the offense while out on bail."
Valadez was reportedly convicted of forcible rape in 1998 and has been convicted on other charges. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the sex abuse charges against him include assault while trying to commit a sex offense, committing a forced sex act, and sexual battery by restraint.
He reportedly fled to Mexico following the deaths of his family members, but was arrested and extradited back to San Diego on Dec. 16.
The District Attorney’s Office says the special circumstances will make him eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted.
Valadez reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bail.