Man who tried to kill wife at beach by ‘burying her in a hole in the sand’ learns his fate


Jose Luis Mares III (California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation) and officers at Coronado Beach (City of Coronado Police Department)

Jose Luis Mares III (California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation) and officers at Coronado Beach (City of Coronado Police Department)

A 26-year-old man in California will spend nearly two decades behind bars for trying to kill his wife while the couple was at the beach, choking her, throwing her into the ocean, and attempting to bury her in the sand.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Popkins last week ordered Jose Luis Mares III to serve a sentence of 18 years in a state correctional facility for the vicious attack on his spouse, authorities confirmed to Law&Crime.

Mares appeared in Chula Vista Superior Court on March 1, 2024, where he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder for attempting to kill his wife, who is listed in court documents as “Jane Doe.” As part of Mares’ plea, he admitted that he “personally inflicted great bodily injury under circumstances involving domestic violence,” a spokesperson for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office told Law&Crime.

Mares also conceded to having a previous felony “strike” against him as he was convicted on one count of carjacking in Los Angeles in October 2017.

In exchange for pleading guilty, prosecutors dropped felony counts of assault causing great bodily injury, domestic violence, and false imprisonment that were originally brought against Mares.

Authorities say the violent incident happened on Feb. 24, 2024, at Coronado Beach.

According to a previous news release from the City of Coronado Police Department, officers at about 9 p.m. on that evening responded to a call in the 900 block of Ocean Boulevard regarding a domestic violence incident. Police said the call came from a woman who told the emergency dispatcher that her husband just attacked her and “tried to kill her on the beach.”

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders said they found the female victim “badly injured” on the sidewalk. Emergency medical personnel arrived a short while later and transported the victim to a trauma center in San Diego for treatment.

Investigators said it appeared that Mares and his wife came to the beach earlier in the evening, before things took a potentially homicidal turn.

“At some point they got into an argument when the suspect began attacking his wife. He attempted to throw her in the ocean, then burying her in a hole in the sand,” the release states. “The victim escaped and ran towards Ocean Blvd. where she was found on the sidewalk by a passerby.”

Officers began searching for Mares and located him a short while later “hiding in the backyard of a home on Alameda Boulevard,” police said.

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