San Diego

A parolee was ordered Friday to stand trial for murder in the July 12 slaying of a 17-year-old girl in a vacant house.

Willie Ray Roberts Jr., 33, was also bound over to San Diego Superior Court on charges of assault with intent to rape the victim, Melissa Orchulli; assault with a deadly weapon on Maria Garcia, 18, and burglary with intent to rape Orchulli.

After a three-day preliminary hearing, Municipal Judge Frank Brown set arraignment for Jan. 20. Brown continued Roberts’ bail at $1 million.

The victim was strangled and beaten severely on her head. A prospective renter found her body.


A 14-year-old girl testified that she met Roberts the day Orchulli was killed and that Roberts invited her into the house where Orchulli’s body was found. The girl refused and contacted police.

Garcia testified that she blacked out after Roberts grabbed her around her neck. She only remembers waking up in a hospital with a severely bruised face.

Roberts is on parole from a conviction involving an assault on his wife.

Orchulli was a 10th-grader at Twain East Satellite, a continuation school. She was killed while on her way to school.