San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced multiple criminal charges today against Marco Antonio Valadez, 47, in connection with a December 4 shooting that killed Raquel Pitsenburger, 55, and Marco Antonio Valadez, Jr., 36. Valadez has been charged with two counts of murder and sex abuse charges, stemming from a fatal confrontation in which he was trying to silence family members who were potential witnesses following the disclosure of his sex crimes.
Valadez has also been charged with two felony sexual assault charges for acts committed against Valadez’s 18-year-old family member two days prior to the murders. The two murder charges carry the 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. The sex abuse charges carry “one strike” and “habitual sex offender” allegations for Valadez’s prior conviction for forcible rape in 1998. He also has multiple serious prior felony prior convictions alleged as part of the charges.
“We’re committed to delivering justice for this family in what is one of the most disturbing crimes committed in San Diego County in 2021.” DA Stephan said. “Thanks to the coordination and dedication of our law enforcement partners, this dangerous criminal was captured in Mexico and returned to San Diego to be held accountable.”
San Diego Sheriff’s Department Homicide and Family Protection Division detectives coordinated the murder investigation, and Valadez was arrested in Mexico and handed over to U.S. authorities on December 16.
Valadez pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court today and is being held without bail. The murder charges with the alleged special circumstances make Valadez eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. His next court date is March 28 for a status hearing.