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Change of Plea Expected in Barona Homicide Case

Stanley Virgil Lloyd Jr. is expected to plead guilty today in the death of Christopher Carioscia, whose body was found on Barona Indian Reservation in 2010.

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A Lakeside man accused of murdering his former schoolmate and leaving the bullet-laden body on Indian Reservation in 2010 is expected to change his plea to guilty today.

Stanley Virgil Lloyd Jr. was 19 when he was and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Christopher Carioscia, 17, a Santee resident. 

In the trial last year, jurors could not unanimously agree on a verdict—10 of them favored guilty—so the judge declared a . Selection of a new jury was scheduled for next month, however, the prosecutor has told Patch that Lloyd is expected to change his plea today at 1:30 p.m. at the El Cajon courthouse. Lloyd had faced 50 years to life in prison due to a special felony allegation of using a firearm to carry out homicide.

Investigators believed that could have been involved in Carioscia's death. However, prosecutor David Williams III told Patch recently that no other arrests have been made. He said he could not comment on whether there are other suspects at this time.

"Generally speaking however, there is no statute of limitation on murder," Williams said. "As a result, anyone else who may have criminal liability for murder in this case could be prosecuted at any date in the future."

A key witness in the case was legally unavailable to testify in last year's trial, but Williams told Patch earlier this month that he had planned to put the witness on the stand in a re-trial. That witness is a cousin of Lloyd's, , who told the court in the preliminary hearing that Lloyd had told him he should kill Carioscia one day.

In the trial, Williams told jurors that Carioscia's parents had run an in East County. He said they had used their son and other young people to fill prescriptions and sell the drugs. Williams told the court he believed Carioscia may have had a bag of Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, with him on the night he was killed.

A friend of Carioscia's testified that he saw the 17-year-old on the gambling floor of Barona Casino late on the night he disappeared and that Carioscia told him he needed to see "Scooter" that evening. Scooter is Lloyd's nickname, according to testimony. Investigators were not able to obtain the from that night.

Other witnesses testified that Lloyd had brandished a gun at a party on the reservation after Carioscia went missing and that he told people the gun had been used to kill someone. 

Defense attorney Roland Haddad of La Mesa told jurors that there was no evidence that Lloyd and Carioscia had ever been in each other's company the night Carioscia disappeared. He also tried to punch holes in prosecution witness testimony from the party, saying the young people had been too intoxicated that night to remember anything accurately. Haddad also challenged the prosecution's presentation of the "murder weapon," saying it wasn't the gun described by some witnesses.

Carioscia's burned out car was found on the reservation the morning after he went missing in October 2010. His body was found about six weeks later in a remote area of the reservation, south of Barona Speedway. showed methamphetamine, marijuana and morphine—a possible metabolite—in Carioscia's system.

Williams told jurors he believed Lloyd killed Carioscia because he thought he was a "big shot" in the "small pond" of the reservation. Lloyd and Montiel are Barona Indians. He also said Lloyd had talked about killing the teen because of "all the heat he had brought up to the reservation." The "heat" meant police on the reservation asking about drugs, according to Montiel's testimony. Montiel told the court in the preliminary hearing that Lloyd had said he should set up Carioscia to buy drugs from him then kill him.

Montiel—a "semi-reluctant witness" for the prosecution—was legally unavailable to testify in the trial due to being incarcerated on drug charges at the time. He had a right not to incriminate himself, Wiliams told Patch. Montiel testified in the preliminary hearing under an immunity agreement with the District Attorney.

Carioscia and Lloyd had attended El Capitan High School and had known each other since childhood, according to friends.

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