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Man pleads guilty in 2006 murder case, used sword

A man suspected of killing a La Mesa man with a sword in his own home in 2006 pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to voluntary manslaughter.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Erickson said Zachary Aaron Bunney, 39, will be sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing Scott Martinez on June 17, 2006.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador set sentencing for Dec. 18. Bunney remains in jail without bail.

Bunney will receive 11 years for manslaughter plus one year for personally using a weapon in the homicide, said Erickson.

Bunney was the boyfriend of Martinez’s babysitter at the time. He was never considered a suspect until a DNA match linked him to his own blood found on toilet paper in Martinez’s bathroom in 2018.

Erickson said Bunney slashed Martinez at least 30 times with one of the swords that Martinez had collected, and he accidently cut himself in the attack. The 3-foot sword was “heavily bent in the middle,” said Erickson, and left at the Acacia Avenue apartment.

The case was pronounced solved at a press conference with La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez, District Attorney Summer Stephan, Erickson and others on Jan. 24.

At the time, Bunney lived less than two miles from Martinez and was apparently jealous of attention given to the babysitter, who was not involved in the slaying.

Bunney ended up filing a restraining order against the babysitter and moved to Oregon, where he was arrested.

Source: East County Californian

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