Man may have dismembered neighbor over space heater dispute

San Mateo County authorities say a San Bruno man accused of killing and dismembering his neighbor may have been angry over a dispute involving a space heater.

The defendant, David Stubblefield, made a brief first appearance in court on Monday.

Stubblefield stands accused of killing and dismembering the body of his San Bruno neighbor and longtime friend, whose name was revealed Monday as 77-year-old Benjamin Roybal.

Authorities say the dispute over the sale of the heater occurred March 11 and they believe Stubblefield used pepper spray on Roybal before shooting him.

Authorities believe Stubblefield then dismembered the body and tried to dispose of it by using chemicals. Police found body parts sitting in buckets.

Roybal had first been listed as a missing person for almost a month.

"He seemed like a normal retiree. I'm heartbroken over what happened. It is hard to imagine evil like that lurking on this street or anywhere for that matter," said neighbor Zeba Webster.
When police first came here to Stubbefield's home on Presidio Heights Boulevard in San Bruno investigating Roybal's disappearance, they became suspicious.

"There was an odor that was apparent. That was what got them on the road," said Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato.

The brief court appearance was continued to get Stubblefield a court-appointed attorney.
One man who came to court said Stubblefield is a friend who he described as bright, loving and articulate.

Stubblefield is also facing a number of charges including an unrelated DUI charge.

The judge set Stubblefield's bail at $10 million.