A former Navy enlisted man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the strangulation of a National City man.
Shane Goddard, 20, faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life for the 1991 slaying of Valentine Estrada, 26, whose body was discovered wrapped in plastic bags in Alpine.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Allan Preckel scheduled sentencing for March 17.
In a plea agreement with the district attorney's office, special circumstances allegations of murder during a robbery were dropped.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Gordon Davis said that, three weeks before the killing, Goddard had been discharged from the Navy for aggressive behavior, habitual tardiness, and not fulfilling his duties.
Goddard was arrested April 3 in Seattle, where his family lives and where he had been driving the victim's 1989 Mustang, the prosecutor said. The former sailor needed a car to drive home, Davis said, which was the motive for the murder.
Goddard remains in County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.