MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — The Riverside County District Attorney’s office on Wednesday filed a murder charge against the stepson of a former Lake Elsinore city councilman who was found dead in his home last year.
Last February 15, George Gregory Alongi, 76, was found murdered in his Dolly Drive home.
Officials at the time said the victim had been stabbed repeatedly including a dozen lacerations to his neck.
They also said Alongi was the victim of blunt force trauma.
Alongi’s stepson, 40-year-old Simon Cortez was charged with his murder as well as a special circumstance charge of laying in wait, as well as an enhancement for using a knife. The special circumstances make Cortez eligible for the death penalty if he’s found guilty.
The DA’s office said the decision on whether or not to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.
Cortez is already in prison. He pleased guilty this past January to possessing a controlled substance and was sentenced to two years and eight months on that case.
The suspect is Alongi’s stepson from a previous relationship.
Investigators determined that Cortez and Alongi had previously been involved in arguments. Alongi has been convicted of domestic violence against his former wife — Cortez’ mother — “several” times, according to the DA’s office.
Cortez allegedly told investigators he hadn’t been at Alongi’s house for several months and insisted he was elsewhere during the commission of the murder.
Detectives did not say specifically why they now doubt Cortez’ story or alibi.