Photo: Stock Image
It was just after the break of dawn on November 1st when Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a 911 Emergency call reporting a stabbing victim in a parking lot of the commercial district of Old Town Goleta.
Upon arrival, deputies discovered the body of 57-year-old Goleta resident Efrain Alvarado Morales. According to SBSD Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, the immediately ensuing investigation brought “a man a couple blocks away who had been injured” to the cops’ attention.
The injured man, 42-year-old Marino Luis Diaz, was detained and held for questioning as “a person of interest” and was then transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Some 11 hours later, detectives made contact with Diaz and took him into custody. He was taken into custody and “formally arrested” and was then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of murder.
The following day, Diaz was formally charged by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, accusing him of “a crime involving great violence, great bodily injury, threat of great bodily harm or other acts disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness, or callousness” upon a victim “who was particularly vulnerable,” adding that “the manner in which the crime was carried out indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism.” “Professional” or not, Diaz remains in custody on a no-bail hold.