By SDCN Editor
Borrego Springs–The Medical Examiner’s Office says a man found severely beaten on the side of a road in Borrego Spring earlier this year and died four days later at a hospital was ruled a homicide.
On February 18, Sheriff’s deputies responded to Di Giorgio Road and Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs for a report of a battery. They found 49-year-old Martin Baker on the side of the road suffering from head trauma. Baker was transported to a local area hospital for treatment, but his condition declined, and he was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Deputies investigated the assault and, later the same day arrested 37-year-old Eugene Carl Focarelli for assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm.
On February 23, the Medical Examiner’s Office conducted the autopsy of Baker but required additional investigation before determining a preliminary cause and manner of death. On June 30, the office preliminary determined the cause of Baker’s death was complications from blunt force trauma and the manner of his death was a homicide.
On July 14, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office charged Focarelli with murder. Focarelli was already in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department for the assault on Baker and other unrelated charges. He is currently in custody awaiting court proceedings with no bail.
On August 4, the Medical Examiner’s Office notified the Sheriff’s Department of their official findings. The cause of Baker’s death was complications from blunt force trauma and the manner of his death is homicide.