Man pleads guilty to murder in clerk’s stabbing at Midway District adult bookstore
A man who fatally stabbed a clerk inside an adult bookstore in the Midway District pleaded guilty to first-degree murder July 6.
Shaun Ward, 42, is slated to be sentenced Aug. 6 in connection with the Oct. 29, 2018, death of Diane Spagnuolo, 65, of El Cajon.
Ward had faced murder and special-circumstance allegations of murder committed during a robbery and murder by torture, both of which made him eligible for the death penalty. There is a statewide moratorium on executions in California for as long as Gov. Gavin Newsom is in office, but California law still allows prosecutors to pursue the death penalty in certain cases.
The San Diego County district attorney’s office said in June 2019 that it would seek Ward’s execution if he were convicted.
Because of his plea, Ward is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Spagnuolo was found dead inside the X Spot Adult Store on Midway Drive near Kemper Street, according to San Diego police.
A surveillance camera in the shop captured images of Ward before the slaying, which was reported at about 1:45 p.m., police said.
Ward was arrested later that night at a residence in San Diego.