An Oceano resident accused of killing a man in a fight in June appeared in court for the first time Friday, charged with murder.
Joseph Munoz, 36, didn’t enter a plea during the brief hearing, which was postponed until Wednesday. In addition to murder, he faces enhancements for allegedly using a deadly weapon during the crime and for having prior offenses resulting in prison time.
The District Attorney’s Office alleges he killed Joseph Padilla, 25, of Nipomo, during a fight that occurred in Oceano on June 21. After the fight, Padilla died at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.
Munoz was identified as a person of interest the next day. On June 23, he was apprehended in Guadalupe after a 70-mph car chase through Santa Maria. Munoz was with two females — including the driver — at the time and was detained on a parole violation.
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It wasn’t the first time he’d been involved in a high-speed chase with police.
In 2006, Munoz led police on a chase through Nipomo after kicking in the door of his girlfriend’s other boyfriend. That chase reached speeds of 100 mph. Once Munoz’s vehicle came to a stop, his arrest created a spectacle for morning commuters, resulting in eight separate crashes.