EL CAJON (CNS) - A 26-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing a fellow Ramona resident during a fight at a gas station in their East County hometown pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a murder charge and was ordered held on $5 million bail.
Jarrett Austin Wishnick is suspected of mortally wounding Steven Faught, 59, shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday near a set of fuel pumps in front of Stage Stop Liquors at 578 Main St., according to sheriff's officials.
Prosecutors say Wishnick stabbed Faught as man as 10 times after an argument.
Attorneys for Wishnick say he was acting in self defense.
Deputies responding to a report of an assault at the business found Faught bleeding profusely from a wound to his neck, Lt. Greg Rylaarsdam said.
Paramedics airlifted the victim to a trauma center, where he was pronounced dead.
Wishnick -- who remained at the scene of the deadly fight -- was treated for a hand injury before being booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of murder.
It was unclear what prompted the dispute between the two men, both of whom had parked their vehicles in front of the gasoline pumps outside the store.
Detectives also were unsure what type of object inflicted the fatal injury, though there were various items at the scene -- including a broken bottle and construction tools in the victim's pickup truck -- that could have served as a makeshift lethal weapon, the lieutenant said.
Wishnick is due back in court later this month.