Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Fatal Incident


Last updated 3/8/2021 at 10:29am

A Borrego Springs person is back in custody, after the man he assaulted in an unprovoked attack died of his injuries.

On Feb. 18, sheriff’s deputies responded to an altercation at the intersection of DiGiorgio and Palm Canyon Drive. When units arrived to the scene, the man was badly injured and lifeflighted to the hospital.

The suspect, Eugene Focarelli, 37, was taken into custody, charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He was later released after posting $30,000 bail.

A few days after the incident, the victim, identified as Martin Baker, died of the injuries he sustained. Police rearrested Focarelli, and was taken to the San Diego Central Jail. More charges are still currently pending, according to the DA’s office. Bail was set at $110,000 as of March 1. Focarelli has had multiple previous run-ins with the law.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 4.

Martin Baker was a well-known resident of Borrego, who graduated from BSHS in 1989. He embodied a kind personality, and always had a smile on his face. Many members of the Borrego Springs community recall the times he would make them laugh.

A celebration of life is being planned by his family.

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