UPDATE 05/02/2013 I did a public records search on Higinio Soriano Salgado He is in the South Bay jail. Date Booked: 04/19/2013 Time Booked: 10:08:27

A046604960 2 1 HOLD Rel Dt/Tm: Agency: ICE 0 CD247657 1 1 187(A) PC ATMP - MURDER:FIRST DEGREE F SD30 05/29/2013 08:15 FP $3,000,000

The booking record is noteworthy because it indicates he is only 5' 05". I'm still not sure why they are saying his middle name is Soriano when all public records show it's his last name and he has no alias'.

Here is the Booking Nbr: 13726709.

He is 320 pounds, but I still don't think he could beat Graham to a bloody pulp without getting a scratch.

Since he was booked at 10:08 on Friday and the fight occurred late Thursday early morning Friday, I assume the time discrepancy means he was taken to the hospital, but there is no indication that he was taken to the hospital and treated for any wounds. So I would still like to know if he was taken to the hospital with Graham.

Also I still have yet to see or find a mugshot. There may be one but there is not a mugshot available on public records request for him nor an arrest record. (Again, not saying it doesn't exist, just saying it's not available for one reason or another).

Additionally, if you look at the 2 images of Soriano that are available after the arrest he doesn't have a single visible scratch on him. I find this particularly noteworthy considering this was a brawl that ended in Graham's head being fractured in multiple places...that Graham a World Cup rugby player would not have left a scratch on Soriano during the deadly brawl. So the more I learn, the more questions I have.

Here is more odd reporting by Fox on 04/24/2013:

"Higinio Soriano Salgado, 31, was initially charged Tuesday with attempted murder because the victim, 56-year-old Graham Downes, had not been declared legally dead.

Downes died Wednesday after being taken off life support.

Salgado allegedly inflicted major head injuries on Downes about 1 a.m. last Friday during a party at the victim’s home in the 200 block of West Juniper Street.

Patrol officers responding to a reported disturbance found the two men on the ground in front of the architect’s residence. Downes was unconscious with severe facial and head injuries.

At the defendant’s initial arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund told Judge David Szumowski that Salgado, a property manager for the victim’s company, beat Downes, fracturing his skull in several places."

What is so odd about that?

For one this claim: "Salgado allegedly inflicted major head injuries on Downes about 1 a.m. last Friday during a party at the victim’s home in the 200 block of West Juniper Street."

Because there was NO ONE there when the cops arrived. This party, according to the latest UT report, actually ended several hours earlier. So if that is the case the brawl did not occur "during" a party. It occurred long after a party had ended and to this date, two weeks later, I have yet to see a single person from the party interviewed. This is not normal reporting.

For another, the defendant was found laying next to Downes on the street implying he was also passed out and again Soriano has no visible scratches after this epic battle that left both men lying on the ground, one unconscious.

Incidentally, Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund was involved in the ticket-fixing case in February.

Deputy District Attorney Worden allegedly tried to get out of a ticket by mentioning to the officer that she and Maund were deputy district attorneys. When that didn’t work, she called a friend, police Sgt. Kevin Friedman, and asked him to “do something.” http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/20/deputy-da-ticket-fixing-resigns/

And just to add yet another crazy fact to this case, the judge, Judge David Szumowski....... is blind.

UPDATE 04/24/2013

The UT has a new story which answers some questions and raises others.

So my question is where did the UT get the story that there was a party at Downes place if when the cops arrived no one was there but Downes and Soriano?

I'm still not sure how they ruled out the possibility of a 3rd party in the assault. I'd like to hear more about where the narrative came from. And I'd like someone to get the 911 call. If you know anything please share it with us.

"Downes’ skull was fractured in several places. .....

Although the county Medical Examiner’s Office has listed the case on its website, a prosecutor said Tuesday that Downes is not legally dead, and therefore the defendant cannot yet be charged with murder.

Danielle Gano, a spokeswoman for Graham Downes Architecture, said Tuesday night that Downes was being kept on life-support systems pending organ donation.

San Diego Superior Court Judge David Szumowski set Soriano’s bail at $3 million and scheduled a status conference for Friday.


Authorities were called to the residence about 1:10 a.m. Friday by neighbors who heard yelling and screaming.

Police said there had been a social gathering at Downes’ home Thursday evening. When officers arrived, they found only Soriano and Downes, who were work associates.

Maund said in court that she asked for high bail because Soriano has ties to Mexico and is building a home there."


The Union Tribune seems much more interested in eulogizing architect Graham Downes than investigating what actually happened to him. The acclaimed Architect sadly died Sunday from injuries he sustained Friday night in Bankers Hill.

I'd only met Graham a handful of times but I, like most people, admired him greatly. It always gave me great comfort when I'd drive by his projects knowing this talented innovative Architect/Developer was busy in his Barrio Logan office working on new cutting-edge design projects to expand his impressive empire. He was a force of good in the San Diego development world that is so notorious for substandard, uninspired banality. It's no secret I have been extremely critical of developers, but that is not because I oppose development, it's because most developers don't actually care about the buildings they are building nor do they understand the enormous importance of the built environment and their role in fashioning that environment. But Graham did. Graham understood EXACTLY what redevelopment and revitalization looked like.

So when I heard about his death Sunday night I felt sick. The magnitude of losing this icon was beyond anything I could fathom. What would San Diego do without Graham Downes?

I was immediately filled with rage that someone had stolen this innovative design genius from us. So I read the article in the UT looking for some answers about why he was dead, but unfortunately I was left with far more questions than answers.

Here is an excerpt:

"Downes, 56, had been hospitalized, in critical condition, since early Friday morning after a confrontation with an employee of his architecture firm. When San Diego police officers arrived at Downes’ residence on West Juniper Street near Albatross Street at about 1:10 a.m., they found two men on the ground, homicide Lt. Jorge Duran said. A party was going on at the time at Downes' home, and the men had confronted each other outside, Duran reported.

The employee, Higinio Salgado, 31, was jailed Friday on suspicion of attempted murder."

That was it. That was the only info about why Graham was no longer with us. The rest of the article went into long diatribes waxing poetic about why Downes was such an important figure to San Diego. But quite honestly, that just made me angrier. Why hadn't the UT done any investigative work into this murder. This was a murder after all.

I went to Graham Downes website and found the employee Higinio Soriano, but no Salgado. And it appeared that Higinio only operated by the name Soriano from everything I could find. He was the Development Manager at Blokhaus Capital Corporation since 2008. And prior to that the Construction manager at Blokhaus Development. He also had a B.S. in Finance from San Diego State so the guy was clearly educated in business which may be a clue about why the two were fighting. Why hadn't the UT found what took me 2 minutes to find online?

Were they arguing about money. Did Higinio embezzle him? Did Downes not pay him? Why were these two fighting and WHO gave the police the story that they were fighting in the first place? Why had the police ruled out the possibility of a third party?

If there are witnesses why aren't they being quoted or interviewed for this huge story? There was a party going on at Downes' house at the time of the altercation (which was right outside the house). Didn't all the party-goers run outside to try and break up the fight? Where is their testimony? Its hard to imagine the police would leave this scene without getting every witness on record.

It's also hard to believe that anyone could beat the burly rugby player to a bloody pulp without a weapon or third party. I briefly saw Soriano's head shot on Graham's website before they took it down today and from what I could see the guy barely had a neck which would suggest to me that he isn't that tall. So how did he kill Graham with his bare hands? Was there a weapon? Was there premeditation?

And if the cops knew there had been an altercation between the two of them, as opposed to both of them being beaten to a bloody pulp by a third party, where did that information come from? Since the cops found both of them on the ground it seems like there would have been other people out there trying to administer CPR. Did the cops literally arrive to two guys laying in the street passed out with no one around?

And if both were laying in the street they must have taken both to the hospital, but that is totally left out of the story. And they must have read Soriano his miranda rights prior to taking him in so why would he admit to beating Graham to near death? Wouldn't he remain silent? This would mean there are witnesses somewhere. In a news story like this you almost always see the interviews with the witnesses at the scene of the crime. I'm not saying this story is fabricated, I'm saying this reporting is so shoddy it's unreal.

The gist of the story is "Graham Downes died as a result of injuries he received from a fight Friday with a guy that works for him....bummer....now 3 paragraphs about why he was so admired as an architect". They made it sound like it was just an unfortunate by-product of a typical Friday night brawl.

Yeah, we all know Graham was a great architect, but right now we wanna know why he is no longer with us. We want to see a mugshot. A newspaper always shows a mugshot with a story like this. This is unacceptable and it's unacceptable that all the other media sources are just copying this pathetic excuse for reporting. Someone out there needs to get the 911 call, the police report, the mugshot, and most importantly every witness imaginable and break this down.

And I would not count on Bonnie Dumanis to deliver any justice to Graham. I would not be a bit surprised to see her drop the case because of a "lack of evidence" because the cops in San Diego are so profoundly inept and her department is so unprofessional. The media has a responsibility here. Graham was such an amazing part of our city and we were lucky to have him. He was murdered and he deserves justice.


watchtowersd April 23, 2013 @ 12:50 p.m.

Brilliantly said. I couldn't agree more. One of the largest news stories in some time and there's no news per se to the UT story. In fact, I watched the UT "scrambling" on Twitter on Sunday afternoon to figure out what happened, and I read the news on Twitter myself before the UT had it together. I believe the UT even got scooped (by print media at least) by the La Jolla Light! The La Jolla Light printed the story online first - also flimsy but they got there first. When the UT and Lori finally got out their story out that he died, it was worthless.

Like you, I feel this story should have had intense investigation starting Sunday and that means calls and people on the street asking exactly what happened. Not UT reporters trolling Twitter for leads and story ideas, which is what they do now. A prominent San Diegan who was known internationally was just murdered. Let's save the well deserved praise for Graham for just a moment and get into the real details -- he was and is worthy of a journalistic investigation.


frodoggl April 23, 2013 @ 1:52 p.m.

Check out this article

Simon had spoken to people who were at the function who said reports that his brother was in a brawl were not as sensational as made out.

“The best information I have is that there was nothing in it. We have to be careful about what we say because there is a court case going on, but I am told that there was no angst involved. It looked like he took a major trauma to the head after falling,” he said.


Barbarella Fokos April 23, 2013 @ 2:02 p.m.

Thanks for that link. Looks like all the talk I've been hearing about a weapon being involved might just be rumors.


petronellas April 23, 2013 @ 3:13 p.m.

Lots of rumors out there, but yes he deserves an deeper investigation. I knew this man well and there is NO WAY he went down easy. A slip and fall with a crack to the head? Never. He was a rugby player of note and the position he played was particularly demanding - if you have ever watched an international level rugby match you will understand. Even at 56 yrs he was in impressive shape and not to be trifled with.


frodoggl April 23, 2013 @ 4:22 p.m.

Higi is about a foot shorter and built like a bowling ball. I couldn't imagine him holding up against Graham in a fight. There must be some element to the story we're missing.


jorgo April 23, 2013 @ 4:08 p.m.

Thank you for taking the time to put into words what so many of have been mentally screaming for the last few days. Keep up the great work and bring some journalistic justice for Basher. The UT should be ashamed of publishing their sorry excuse for a "story".....


Barbarella Fokos April 23, 2013 @ 5:34 p.m.

"Multiple fractures to the skull." That was a hell of a beating. This just in from Fox5 after today's arraignment: http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/04/23/man-accused-of-beating-architect-boss-pleads-not-guilty/#axzz2RKtYBUpW


Burwell April 23, 2013 @ 8:35 p.m.

I don't think anyone should assume that Salgado is at fault merely because he's Latino and Downes was rich and white. For all any of you know, Downes could have started the fight and Salgado defended himself as best he could. My concern is that Salgado will not get a fair trial because he is poor and Downes was a politically connected member of the power elite with a lot of rich friends. If Salgado was in fact defending himself from Downes, the DA will likely frame him for a crime he did not commit.


Barbarella Fokos April 23, 2013 @ 8:48 p.m.

Though I agree with your basic sentiment regarding the potential for discrimination, beating "multiple fractures" into someone's skull does not, on the outset, appear to be mere defense. They obviously had enough evidence to hold him, even before it became clear that this was going to be a "homicide" or "manslaughter" case rather than "attempted murder." To make such a charge, one would think the prosecutors feel confident in their evidence.

And even if the victim had "started" the fight, since when is that justification for a beating so brutal it ends in death? Why didn't the suspect appear to have any wounds when he was arraigned today? I'm hoping these are all questions that will be answered as information comes to light. In the meantime, I am mourning the loss of a man I knew, and someone whom I believe was a great benefit to the city in which I was born and raised, and I would feel the same way if the man in custody right now happened to be white instead of brown.


historymatters April 25, 2013 @ 9:15 p.m.

Burwell, I dont think i EVER suggested Salgado was guilty. If anything I am questioning why they have ruled out the possibility that a 3rd party was involved. Sounds like there werent any party goers to deliver the narrative just neighbors that "heard" something. How do we know someone didnt drive up and beat the hell out of both of them? That doesnt mean I think Salgado is innocent. It means I am open to all possibilities and there are still some serious holes in this story.


historymatters April 24, 2013 @ 4:05 p.m.

if anyone was there, could you please share your story about what happened to Graham? We would really like to know why he isnt here anymore....


joner April 25, 2013 @ 4:58 p.m.

Never once in this article did I hear anyone ASSUME that Salgado was at fault because he was Latino until the writer 'Burwell' brought it to our attention. Could you be a little prejudice Burwell? What would color, money or elite white friends have to do with the fact that a man's life has been taken prematurely by someone who had NO rights to do so!!?? Really, save your race card comments for your meetings!!!!


Burwell April 25, 2013 @ 9:38 p.m.

It would take weeks if not months to perform an investigation to determine who was at fault and whether a crime has been committed. Salgado has been charged even though there's no way an investigation could have been completed to determine if he even committed a crime. The DA might as well haul Salgado to the Moreton Bay fig tree in Balboa Park and lynch him without a trial.


historymatters April 25, 2013 @ 10:52 p.m.

I think you are right that its a little odd that they are already pressing charges when there werent any witnesses. Just the couple who "heard" the fight. I would expect for them to be pressing charges this soon they have a ton of witnesses but they dont as UT is now saying no one was there but G and S.


historymatters April 25, 2013 @ 10:56 p.m.

but I dont think it has anything to do w/ him being Latino but may have to do w/ him being framed. Who knows!!! thats why I wrote this. This is an odd situation and anything is possible in this town.


historymatters April 25, 2013 @ 10:49 p.m.

Burwell I think you are getting a little ahead of yourself. I think its more likely the DA will bungle the cases and drop the charges because she is so inept. But if you feel strongly about this then do us a favor and get the 911 call. I would at least like to hear that. Anything is possible here including that soriano and Downes werent in a fight and were beat up by a 3rd party. Maybe you are onto something and they are trying to pin this on him when there is someone else at fault we arent hearing about. Get the 911 call and the police report for us.


Burwell April 26, 2013 @ 12:06 a.m.

The South African newspapers report that Downes' brother was told there was not much of a fight, but that Downes died from a fall. The article says:

"Simon had spoken to people who were at the function who said reports that his brother was in a brawl were not as sensational as made out."

“The best information I have is that there was nothing in it. We have to be careful about what we say because there is a court case going on, but I am told that there was no angst involved. It looked like he took a major trauma to the head after falling,” he said.



historymatters April 26, 2013 @ 2:57 p.m.

well that claim doesnt make any sense because there were no witnesses to the "brawl" because when police showed up no one was there but G and S. The only thing close to a witness was a neighbor that allegedly "heard" the brawl and called 911. The function had occurred earlier in the evening and was over by the time the fight began (at least that is what the UT is NOW reporting). So this whole story is not adding up. If he just took a fall and hit his head then Soriano would be the one calling 911 and they wouldnt have arrested him. There is more to this one way or another. But I do think there is a possibility that Soriano is totally innocent.


historymatters April 26, 2013 @ 5:52 p.m.

this is another reason I really wanna hear the 911 call Burwell, because none of this is adding up. I looked into how to get a 911 call and quite honestly it made my head spin. So Im asking if any of you have experience getting 911 calls we would greatly appreciate it. This whole story is so odd. That story also says they pulled the plug on Graham 2 hrs before he arrived. Not saying that isnt true not at all, but just seems odd they wouldnt wait an extra 2 hrs for his brother. NTM Graham is actually still on life support now. He isnt technically dead yet according to the UT because they are keeping him alive because hes an organ donor. I know it all seems so odd to me!!! Someone help us out!


SeanNeoconnery April 27, 2013 @ 4:16 p.m.

I appreciate the scathing review of UT's coverage, though that is nothing new from a newspaper that is essentially Fox News in print, but I think the emotional appeal toward charging Salgado with murder is otherwise unfounded based on the information currently available.

Isn't it possible that they went outside, just the two of them, not intending to fight and that it broke out after a heated argument? That would explain why no witnesses to the actual altercation have been reported. If both were unconscious, perhaps drinking took place prior, after all it was a party. And a little digging would reveal that those in the architecture industry commonly "blow off steam" with colleagues on Thursday nights, not every Thursday, but when it happens, it is typically on a Thursday night.

Additionally, anyone who knows W. Juniper, knows what an incredibly steep road it is from Front Street at the community garden down to Brant and beyond. An otherwise harmless fist fight out on the sidewalk or street right there, especially while drunk, could have disastrous results when one or both are knocked off balance and tumble down the street.

The lack of reporting by the UT on a potential crime does not need to be balanced with wild speculation on the employee's intent as this article has done. Graham Downes was a great man who did a lot for the otherwise mostly bland built environment San Diego is known for, our thoughts should be with his family and loved ones rather than pointing fingers at what may turn out to be an accidental death.


historymatters April 27, 2013 @ 8:47 p.m.

@Sean, if you read what I wrote I am not making charges against Soriano at all. But Graham was murdered and the evidence suggests someone beat the bloody hell out of him. His skull is fractured in multiple places which doesnt happen if someone just trips and falls. Someone beat his skull in. The fact that the cops found both guys on the street suggests to me the clear possibility of a 3rd party. Id still like to hear the 911 call and Id like to see the autopsy report. I dont see anything that rules out a weapon in this case.


historymatters April 27, 2013 @ 8:54 p.m.

Im not convinced this wasnt premeditated. Graham was larger than life. Im sure he pissed off plenty of other powerful people. It should not be out of the realm of possibility and Graham deserves every effort be made to find out exactly what happened to him. If the story the UT is suggesting is in fact true then all the evidence will emerge to support it. It is just one of many possibilities at this point. But I dont see any reason to rule out other possibilities until we see the evidence. We dont even have an autopsy report yet. And if Soriano is innocent then he also deserves to be vindicated so he doesnt go thru life being known as the man who killed Graham Downes whether on purpose or by accident.


getagrip April 24, 2014 @ 2:40 p.m.

If you want answers to these questions, why didn't you just attend the arraignment or trial?!?! It is a public forum. Anyone can attend and there was room for the public even though many family, friends, and admirers attended. It is not the newspaper's responsibility to cover every last detail of a public trial--go yourself. Also, the DA did an excellent job and secured a second degree murder conviction. A jury of 12 San Diego citizens (your peers) found him guilty of second degree murder. It is not a conspiracy. Justice was served. So sad, though. RIP Graham.


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