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Teen pleads guilty to manslaughter in Imperial Beach shooting death

A 19-year-old man who fatally shot another young man last year in Imperial Beach pleaded guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge Thursday in Chula Vista Superior Court.

Johnathan Reibeling admitted to shooting 18-year-old San Diego resident Diego Rodriguez on April 10, 2020. He’s slated to be sentenced in December and could face up to 10 years in state prison.

Sheriff’s officials said Rodriguez was dropped off about 12:45 a.m. at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later, according to San Diego sheriff’s homicide Lt. Thomas Seiver.

Reibeling — who investigators initially identified as Riebeling — was arrested the following day at a residence on Seventh Street south of Basswood Avenue in Imperial Beach. Authorities said they found a crime scene at the home, which sits about a block from the Bayshore Bikeway along the far southern end of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The defendant, who previously faced a murder charge in the case, remains held without bail pending sentencing.

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