A father and son accused of fatally stabbing a 16-year- old Lake Elsinore boy and wounding his friend during a confrontation must stand trial on murder charges, a judge ruled Monday.
Fernando Moreira Aresta, 44, of Lake Elsinore, and his 17-year-old son, Anthony Aresta, were arrested last August in connection with the deadly assault three months earlier on Lakeside High School student Bobby Henderson.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez found there was sufficient evidence to bound the elder Aresta over for trial on charges of first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon -- in this case, a knife -- to commit a felony.
Bermudez also found sufficient evidence for Anthony Aresta to be tried for murder. The judge set a post-preliminary hearing arraignment in the case for March 14.
The younger Aresta is being held at Southwest Juvenile Hall. His father is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
According to sheriff's investigators, the fatal stabbing occurred around 11:30 on the night of May 25, 2013, near the intersection of Garfield and Monroe streets.
Deputies were called to the location to investigate an assault and found Henderson and his 18-year-old male friend, not identified, suffering from stab wounds, investigators said.
Henderson was lying on the ground, unconscious, and was taken to a hospital, where he died a half-hour later, according to Sgt. Todd Torrenti. Witnesses told investigators that the teen, schooled in martial arts, was coming to the aid of the 18-year-old when he was stabbed.
The defendants were reportedly settling a score, possibly related to a theft, when they allegedly attacked the 18-year-old.
Torrenti said the victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Deputies found a blood trail leading away from the location of the assault. Investigators spent several months on the case before submitting it to prosecutors for review, culminating in the defendants' Aug. 22 arrests.
—City News Service contributed to this report.