San Diego

Special circumstances allegations were filed Thursday against the defendant in the slaying of a Point Loma liquor store owner, and the district attorney's office will seek a life term in prison without parole if he is convicted.

Manuelito Manatad, 21, is charged with murder the Aug. 20 killing of Sabah J. Antwan, 38, who was shot to death inside his Riviera Liquor House on West Point Loma Drive.

Manatad pleaded not guilty Thursday and San Diego Superior Court Judge Frederic A. Link set a June 15 trial date.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Elizabeth Porterfield told Link her office had rejected seeking the death penalty against Manatad and instead will urge a life sentence in state prison without the possibility of parole. The grounds for the special circumstances allege that Manatad killed Antwan during a robbery.

Erenesto Banares Baluyot, Jr., 23, of Chula Vista, who pleaded guilty Jan. 3 to being an accessory to murder, two counts of auto theft, and robbery, was charged earlier in the case.

Baluyot was sentenced by Link on Jan. 31 to 12 years and eight months in state prison. Baluyot might be called as a witness in Manatad's trial, according to court records.

Antwan was the second Iraqi-born liquor store owner shot to death last summer during a robbery.

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