VISTA —An Iraq war veteran who said he killed a stranger in Oceanside at the behest of a secret agency that controlled his brain was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentence for Mikhail Schmidt comes less than a month after a Superior Court jury in North County found Schmidt guilty of first-degree murder of Jacob Bravo, a stranger that Schmidt spotted, followed and stabbed to death on March 8, 2017.

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Mikhail Schmidt (Screenshot via NBC San Diego)

VISTA, Calif. — One night in March 2017, Mikhail Schmidt was looking for a victim. He wanted someone vulnerable, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

And when he saw plumber Jacob Bravo "stumbling drunk" on an Oceanside street, Schmidt "figures out that's his mark, that's what I am looking for," Deputy District Attorney Cal Logan told a jury in Superior Court.

Schmidt, now on trial in a Vista courtroom, followed Bravo back to a construction-site trailer. As the victim slept in the trailer, Schmidt sneaked inside and stabbed him, the prosecutor said during his opening statement.

When a defense lawyer spoke to the jury in court Wednesday, he didn't dispute outright that Schmidt committed the stabbing, but said the defendant was "was under the clear belief" at the time of the killing that he worked for a secret government agency known as "Orange."

"Sit with an open mind," attorney Brad Patton told jurors, "and I will be back to tell you what this all means."

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(Associated Press photo)

VISTA, Calif. — Two years after a Navy man died from an overdose said to be linked to fentanyl-laced pills, local authorities have charged a drug rehab specialist with murder, accusing her of being a supplier in a chain that put the potent drug in the sailor's hands.

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Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Facebook

An Oceanside, California, man with a diagnosed mental illness bought a gun legally two months ago, then emptied the five-shooter into a woman who lived downstairs last week, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

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NBC 7 San Diego/Screenshot

Less than an hour into his murder trial, a former Marine pleaded guilty to killing an Army reservist in a Fallbrook motel in 2012 — a brutal attack in which the victim was stabbed 44 times and shot twice in the head.

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