Pinoy accused of triple murder asks for public defender

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 11 2014 06:25 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2014 02:25 AM

CALIFORNIA - An unsolved triple murder at a San Diego parking lot that has been blamed on a Filipino-American will have to wait longer for more answers.

30-year-old Carlo Mercado changed defense teams during a Thursday court hearing and requested for a public defender.

Investigators claim Mercado shot and killed Salvatore Belvedere and Ilona Flint at a mall parking lot.

A third person, Gianni Belvedere, Salvatore's brother and Flint's fiancé, was found shot dead inside and abandoned in his own car about 100 miles away almost a month later.

Mercado, who was arrested last month, has since pleaded not guilty.

His previous lawyer told reporters after Thursday's hearing that the defense team has not been given any details or evidence on what led police to suspect Mercado is responsible for the triple homicide.

Mercado had also appeared in court on Wednesday on separate charges involving weapons possession.

Mercado faces a 25 years to life prison sentence.

However, if he is found guilty of more than one murder, prosecutors said he may be eligible for the death penalty.

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