SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death outside her Southcrest home, then hiding out in Mexico for 5 1/2 years, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge.
Mauricio Tadeo Alba, 46, was extradited from Mexico City to Los Angeles, where San Diego police took custody of him on Wednesday, SDPD Lt. Kevin Rooney said.
Tadeo -- who was ordered held without bail -- faces life in prison without parole if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Sylvia Tenorio.
The defendant allegedly stabbed 36-year-old Alma Tadeo eight times as she was leaving home to work a second job on Jan. 26, 2006.
About 20 minutes later, the man's pickup truck crossed into Mexico, Rooney said. Detectives recovered the vehicle at Tijuana International Airport the next day.
Over the next several years, homicide detectives worked with prosecutors to obtain an arrest warrant -- issued last October -- permitting Tadeo's extradition to the United States.
Five months ago, FBI agents and Mexican police arrested Tadeo at a relative's home near Mexico City.
Tenorio told reporters there was a history of domestic violence and stalking in the relationship between Tadeo and his wife and that the victim had tried to leave the marriage.
His extradition is the second this year and 10th since 2008. Prior to that, no defendants had been formally extradited to San Diego from Mexico, prosecutors said.
In addition to first-degree murder, Tadeo faces a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait and an allegation of personal use of a deadly weapon.
Judge David Szumowski set a status conference for July 21 and a preliminary hearing for July 27.
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