CHULA VISTA (CNS) - Testimony got under way Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife, who was pregnant with another man's child, in front of the couple's children in Chula Vista.
Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 31, is charged with two counts of murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders in the Dec. 10, 2009, slaying of 28-year-old Maribel Arteaga, a Customs and Border Protection agent who was two months pregnant.
Garcia also faces child abuse counts because the slaying took place in front of the couple's 4- and 6-year-old sons.
Testimony in the trial is being heard in the courtroom of Judge Ana Espana.
In an earlier hearing, a Chula Vista police officer testified he was first on the scene and recorded a conversation with the victim because he believed she would not survive. In the recording, which was played in court, she told Sgt. Carlos Valdivia that her estranged husband stabbed her in the back with a knife and that he was mad at her.
The victim's boyfriend, Carlos Orga, also a CBP agent, testified that on the day of the slaying, they were watching television when the defendant knocked on the door. Orga said he got up and went to his bedroom while the victim answered the door.
While in the bedroom, Orga heard a commotion and a bang, then the injured victim came into the bedroom with her children, saying the defendant stabbed her, he said.
Authorities said the defendant fled to Mexico after the slaying. He was extradited to the United States in July 2011.
In order to ensure the extradition, U.S. authorities had to agree not to seek the death penalty. If convicted, Garcia faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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