Not guilty plea for man charged in Carlsbad stabbing

VISTA — The man who was arrested in Indiana for the March 25 murder of Devin Allen, 27, which took place near a Carlsbad pub, was arraigned in court last week and pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge.
Carlsbad Police had identified Juan Alberto Rocha, 20, as a suspect in the homicide, and Rocha was arrested March 29 at a bus station in Indianapolis, Ind., after fleeing the state.
He was booked into a jail in Indiana on a murder charge and also charged with assisting a street gang to commit a felony.
Rocha was extradited from Indiana to face charges in California, and booked into the Vista Detention Facility on April 13.
At his arraignment April 14, Rocha entered a plea of not guilty to the first-degree murder charge.
His bail was set at $5.1 million.
The next court dates include a readiness conference set for May 5 and a preliminary exam on May 26, both in a Vista courtroom.
Rocha also has two misdemeanor charges that will also be addressed on those dates, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which include a hit-and-run charge that has been issued a $25,000 bail and a reckless driving charge.
Rocha’s total bail amount is $5,125,000.
The prosecutor on the case is Deputy District Attorney Geoff Allard, of the San Diego County Gang Division.
The homicide occurred while Allen was leaving Hensley’s Flying Elephant Pub & Grill, and two men approached him and one of the men asked for a cigarette before the lethal stabbing took place, according to the North County Times.
Allen was found with at least one stab wound, and he was “out by the street,” when police arrived at 3800 block of Harding Street near the intersection of Carol Place, according to Sgt. Mickey Williams of the Carlsbad Police Department.
Allen was airlifted to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, and pronounced dead at 11:33 p.m.
According to the San Diego County Coroner’s report, Allen suffered a fatal stab wound to the abdomen.

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