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Witness: Man accused of killing architect boss got upset at mention of former supervisor's name

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A facilities and property manager accused of fatally beating his boss, a prominent architect, during a get-together at the victim's home in Bankers Hill was agitated and loud during a discussion at the bar with the victim about a former co-worker and supervisor, a witness testified Tuesday.

Anne Macdougall testified at the start of a preliminary hearing for 31-year-old Higinio Salgado, who is charged with murder in the death three months ago of 56-year-old Graham Downes.

Downes' architecture firm is known for revitalizing urban areas, including downtown San Diego and Barrio Logan, and is also known for its work at several hotels and restaurants, including Tom Ham's Lighthouse and the Hard Rock Hotel.

Macdougall testified that she and Salgado were among about 16 people invited to a happy hour at the offices of Graham Downes the night of April 18.

Later in the evening, some of the group went to Downes' residence in the 200 block of West Juniper Street and were gathered around the bar when the name of Simon Lloyd, Salgado's former supervisor at the firm, came up.

"You better not give him my (expletive) job," Salgado told Downes. "I (expletive) hate that guy," Salgado said of Lloyd, according to Macdougall.

Downes replied, "Don't worry about it. That's not going to happen," Macdougall testified.

Later, Downes asked Macdougall to give a drunk Salgado a ride home but she declined, saying she had had too much to drink.

Patrol officers responding to a reported disturbance shortly after 1 a.m. found the two men on the ground in front of the architect's residence. Downes was unconscious with severe facial and head injuries. He died April 24 after being taken off life support.

District Attorney Investigator Scott Christie testified that Lloyd told him after the killing that while he was still working for Graham Downes Architecture, he recommended that Salgado be fired after some property came up missing and the defendant admitted taking it.

Lloyd told the investigator that he had no intention of returning to Graham Downes Architecture.

The preliminary hearing will conclude Wednesday. When it's over, Judge John Einhorn will decide if enough evidence was presented for Salgado to stand trial.

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