An Oct. 5 trial date has been set in the case of a 48-year-old man accused of brutally stabbing a Santa Nella convenience store clerk to death.
Prosecutors believe Edward Arviso stabbed 25-year-old Fahd Mohamed Hussein to death during a robbery at the Santa Nella Market on Highway 33 in the early morning hours of Jan. 25, 2007.
Hussein was a U.S. Army veteran who had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, according to his family.
The trial was supposed to start Feb. 16, but the case has been beset by delays.
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Arviso has pleaded not guilty to the homicide charges. He allegedly robbed the store with another man, David Fagundes. Fagundes pleaded no contest last year to charges of manslaughter, robbery, burglary and false imprisonment. He has since been sentenced to 22 years in prison, testifying against Arviso as a condition of his plea agreement.
William Davis, Arviso's attorney, said his client denies killing Hussein and claims it was Fagundes who committed the crime. Davis said there's evidence Fagundes left a set off bloody footprints at the scene, while no blood was found on Arviso's shoes.
Detectives found Arviso's fingerprint on the door of the store and a knife blade at the scene.
Hussein was stabbed eight times in the head, neck and face, according to an autopsy report. He was also found with his hands tied behind his back.
Arviso remains at the Merced County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org