Sentencing scheduled for man accused of estranged wife's murder
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A registered nurse who fatally shot his estranged wife and her male friend after watching them cuddle in her Sabre Springs apartment is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.
Melchor Marabante, 43, faces 80 years to life in prison when he appears before Judge Peter Deddeh at the San Diego County Courthouse.
Marabante pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder and admitted the use of a gun in the Feb. 20, 2011, slayings of his 23-year-old wife, Valerie, and her colleague and friend, 26-year-old Bernabe Villamar.
Valerie Marabante served her husband, who formerly worked for the state Department of Corrections, with divorce papers and kicked him out of their apartment about three weeks before she died, according to court testimony.
She was also an R.N., working at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa, where Villamar was a licensed vocational nurse.
Retired San Diego police Officer Kenneth Hodges testified at a hearing last year that Villamar's body was found in the living room and Valerie Marabante's body was found in the garage.
A patio door had been broken down from the outside and a broken tree stake was found nearby, Hodges testified.
Philip Marabante testified that his brother told him that he saw his wife and her friend kissing and hugging and then shot them with a gun that his sibling had taken away from him and put in his trunk when the defendant moved in with him.
Philip Marabante said his brother had told him he thought his wife was having an affair with a co-worker.