Local News in Brief : Guilty Plea Entered in Canoga Park Killing

A 20-year-old Canoga Park man pleaded guilty Monday of voluntary manslaughter in the April killing of a Canoga Park electrician after a fight that prosecutors said was drug-related.

Saul Marin Ruvalcalva entered the plea before Van Nuys Superior Court Commissioner Sherman Juster.

Ruvalcalva originally had been charged with murder in the April 18 killing of Donald Trammel, 25, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Bradford Stone. He was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge because the key prosecution witness recanted her story at the preliminary hearing, weakening the case, Stone said.

Ruvalcalva shot Trammel once with a .22-caliber pistol during a heated argument outside his apartment in the 21600 block of Saticoy Avenue.

The argument occurred because Ruvalcalva suspected Trammel of having been involved in an earlier plot to steal cocaine from one of Trammel's neighbors, for whom Ruvalcalva worked as a bodyguard, Stone said.

Juster scheduled sentencing for Oct. 25. Ruvalcalva could receive a maximum of 13 years in prison, Stone said.

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