The two men accused of fatally beating a bouncer outside in South Redondo Beach at the beginning of June must stand trial, Torrance Superior Court Judge Hector M. Guzman ruled Monday.
After a preliminary hearing, Guzman found sufficient evidence for Francisco "Frank" Cobarruvias Jr., 35, of Redondo Beach, and Rene Anthony Avina, 23, of Carson, to be tried for murder.
Cobarruvias and Avina are accused of attacking Torrance resident Terie Colecchi, 49, just before closing time outside Pats II Cocktails on June 2. Colecchi died from his injuries.
As part of Monday's hearing, Guzman watched surveillance footage taken from outside Pats II Cocktails on the night of the incident, according to the Daily Breeze. The newspaper reported that the footage showed Colecchi throwing the first punch.
Additionally, the video showed Colecchi on top of Cobarruvias for a moment, but they switched positions, the Breeze reported. The video also showed Avina kicking Colecchi in the head and Cobarruvias hitting Colecchi seven times.
Both Avina and Cobarruvias were regulars at the bar, according to published reports.
Although initially Jeffrey Gray, Cobarruvias' attorney, argued that the case was one of mistaken identity, he told the Daily Breeze in a later interview that Colecchi committed "an atrocious felony" by biting Cobarruvias' hand. Gray claims his client acted in self-defense.
Gray and Avina's attorney, Christopher Glew, also said that prosecutors should have charged their clients with manslaughter—not murder, the Breeze reported.
Cobarruvias is being held at the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles in lieu of $2 million bail, while Avina is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
They are due back in court for arraignment July 23.
—City News Service contributed to this report.