Man faces 16 years to life for murder of friend 

San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
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A Pacoima man is facing 16 years to life in prison Monday at his sentencing hearing for a 2019 stabbing murder he committed outside a friend’s house. 

David Figueroa decided to plead no contest to a second-degree murder charge last month, about halfway through his trial, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott Eisen, who led the prosecution. 

Under the terms of his plea filed last month, Figueroa isn’t eligible for parole until he’s served at least 16 years, Eisen said, noting the defendant also admitted the allegation that a knife was used in the commission of the crime.   

A motive for the murder of Brent Hariston, who befriended Figueroa in rehab, according to previous reporting in The Signal, remains elusive, according to Eisen, who discussed the emotional testimony given by Hairston’s mother on the stand, prior to Figueroa’s plea. 

“All we know is what the evidence told us, which is that mom was in the backyard having coffee and a cigarette, and heard her son yell,” Eisen said in a phone interview Friday. “And when she came out to the front yard, her son was covered in blood trying to hold him down. And (Figueroa) was stabbing backward at her son and stabbing him over and over again.” 

Figueroa stabbed Hariston 17 times, according to evidence provided in court, Eisen said. 

Law enforcement officials found Figueroa several houses away in the backyard, praying for forgiveness for killing his friend, Eisen said, sharing details from the trial. 

Ultimately, Eisen described the outcome as a “good plea,” because it assured a guilty verdict. He also said he was hopeful that the testimony from Hariston’s mother, while it had to be extremely difficult, provided her some comfort, in knowing she was “a part of the trial and getting to participate in that which caused (Figueroa’s) conviction.” 

Figueroa is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. Monday in Department F at the San Fernando Courthouse. 

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