Captain Robert Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at the scene of fatal stabbing. photo by Austin Dave.

Pacoima man accused of killing rehab pal appears in court

A Pacoima man accused of stabbing his rehab pal to death on a Canyon Country street last summer appeared briefly in court Monday.

David Alonso Figueroa, 35, appeared in San Fernando Superior Court to set a date for a preliminary hearing but was told, instead, to come back to court at the end of the month and set the preliminary hearing date at that time.

“May 31 is the preliminary setting date,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evident in the case, and the defence can respond, after which the judge will decide if the case should go to trial.

On July 30, 2018, detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau began investigating the stabbing death of 29-year-old Brent Hariston, of Canyon Country.

Hariston and Figueroa, according to the late Homicide Detective John Corina, met in rehab.

On the morning of July 30, the two men agreed to meet on the 27500 block of Dewdrop Avenue, with the intent to do some work together, Corina said at the time.

The two men began to argue, which escalated to the point where one man stabbed the other, Corina said at the time of arrest.

“(The suspect) went to his friend’s house and they were going to work, house painting or something like that,” Corina told reporters at the scene.

“Somehow, for whatever reason, the suspect brings out a knife and stabs the victim multiple times,” he said.

At that point, the victim’s mother — described by Corina as a “good witness” — came out of the house, saw the attack and then called 911 immediately.

The suspect ran off as deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrived. Deputies set up a containment area in the neighborhood and, a short time later, apprehended a man they believe is the suspect.

The stabbing victim was rushed to the hospital but died later in the hospital, Corina said, describing the stabbing wounds as in the upper body.

As for the suspect, Corina said detectives noted during the arrest that his shirt was bloody. Figueroa appeared in San Fernando Superior Court on Aug. 1 for arraignment.

On the day of the killing, homicide detectives said they found the knife they believe is the weapon.

“We found the murder weapon at the scene,” Corina said at the time. “It was a few houses down from the house where Hariston was found.

“When the suspect ran from the house, he ran in between houses,” he said. “We followed that path and found it.”

[email protected] 661-287-5527 On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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