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Man Sentenced For 2006 California Sword Slaying

A La Mesa police vehicle drives the streets, May 17, 2019.

Photo by Claire Trageser

Above: A La Mesa police vehicle drives the streets, May 17, 2019.

A former California man who stabbed an acquaintance more than 30 times with a sword has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Thirty-nine-year-old Zachary Bunney of Hillsboro, Oregon was sentenced Wednesday. He was linked to the 2006 killing through DNA and pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter and use of a deadly weapon.

Bunney attacked and killed 47-year-old Scott Martinez with a 3 1/2-foot-long sword in Martinez's apartment in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa because he believed Martinez was sleeping with his girlfriend, prosecutors said.

The woman had babysat for Martinez but testified that she didn't have a romantic relationship with him.

Investigators identified Bunney through a cutting-edge DNA search technique called genetic genealogy, which tries to identify suspects through DNA of possible family members. Investigators used blood found on toilet paper in the bathroom. They believed the killer had cut himself and tried to clean the wound.

The same genetic genealogy technique was used last year to capture the suspected Golden State Killer who committed a series of California rapes and killings from the 1970s and 1980s.


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