Murder trial ready to start in case of stabbed rock-thrower

Jury selection is set to begin today in the horrific case of a teenage prankster who was stabbed to death for allegedly hurling rocks at cars from an overpass in Redwood City.

Luis Villa, 20, of Lathrop is charged with hunting down and murdering 16-year-old Matthew Johnson on Jan. 3, 2009.

Villa has pleaded not guilty to the killing and remains in custody on no-bail status, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Johnson was reportedly throwing rocks with two pals from the overpass on Jefferson Avenue, near the train tracks, Wagstaffe said.

Villa, then 17, reportedly pursued the rock-throwers down the street with his friends. He allegedly got out of the car, whipped out a knife and fatally stabbed Johnson while a friend punched him, authorities said.

Villa fled to Mexico, prosecutors said, but was extradited back to San Mateo County last year after being apprehended by Mexican police.

His attorney, Michael Hroziencik, declined to comment Friday before jury selection.

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