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Pendleton Marine to stand trial for murder

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VISTA, Calif. (AP) — A Camp Pendleton Marine will stand trial for murder after allegedly writing that he'd lured the man to his death in a hotel room.

U-T San Diego says a judge ruled Monday there's enough evidence to try Cpl. Kevin Coset for murder with special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty.

He's pleaded not guilty.

A Navy investigator read from a journal seized when Coset was arrested. In it, the writer says he killed 24-year-old Alvin Bulaoro as part of a fight against a shadowy group he claims entered his mind and plotted to destroy his life.

Authorities allege that Coset stabbed and shot the Army reservist in December at a Fallbrook hotel, leaving the body in the man's car in a supermarket parking lot.

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Information from: U-T San Diego, http://www.utsandiego.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. EARLIER STORY IS BELOW.

VISTA (CNS) - A Camp Pendleton Marine corporal accused of killing a Navy veteran whose body was found inside his own SUV must stand trial on murder charges that could lead to the death penalty, a judge ruled Monday.

Kevin Albert Richard Coset, 23, is accused in the death of 24-year-old Alvin Bulaoro, a Fallbrook man who served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve and worked as an administrator in a family-owned home healthcare business.

Judge Richard Mills, who presided over a preliminary hearing at the Vista Courthouse, ruled that enough evidence was presented for Coset to proceed to trial on the murder charge, along with knife and gun allegations and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will decide later whether the defendant will face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted.

The victim's body, showing signs of trauma, was found on the evening of Jan. 3 zipped inside a sleeping bag in the back seat of his own Toyota 4Runner in a parking lot in the 1100 block of South Mission Road. He had been stabbed and shot.

Members of Bulaoro's family found the SUV after previously reporting him missing. They had last seen him on Dec. 21, said San Diego County sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser.

Coset was taken into custody Feb. 22 at Camp Pendleton after homicide detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest, Fraser said. A motive for the murder has not been disclosed.

The defendant will be back in court April 9 for arraignment.

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