CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A man who fatally stabbed his pregnant estranged wife in front of the couple's children was convicted Friday of second-degree murder, but jurors acquitted the defendant of murder charges regarding the victim's unborn fetus.
Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 31, also was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of child abuse because the murder was witnessed by the couple's 4- and 6-year-old sons.
Sentencing was scheduled March 12 before South Bay Judge Ana Espana.
Prosecutors had charged the defendant with first-degree murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders in the Dec. 10, 2009 slaying of 28-year-old Maribel Arteaga and her fetus.
At the time, the victim, a Customs and Border Protection agent, was two months pregnant with another man's child.
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, the victim 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, he was watching television with the victim 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.
Six parents have sued the San Diego school district, alleging that its anti-Islamophobia campaign favors Islam over other religions and grants special protections to Muslim students.
A 34-year-old man who allegedly broke into a North County home early Thursday while it was tented for termite extermination was arrested later in the morning.
Authorities sought the public's help Thursday to identify and locate the driver of a SUV involved in a weekend hit-and-run crash that left a 39-year-old motorcyclist with a fractured leg in Pacific Beach.
Authorities are looking for help in solving a double murder that took place in Valencia Park in 2015.
Fashion Week San Diego is celebrating a new roof top bar. It's called the Upper East Bar and it’s also the only place you can catch a glimpse of fashion's newest environmentally friendly dress. Ashley Jacobs also shows us what’s on the menu.
Teachers took their classrooms outside in a show of solidarity for a vice principal who they say deserves to get the top spot.
It's a growing problem throughout parts of the nation - teens turning to common plant seeds as a type of party drug to score a cheap but risky high.
Ocean Beach residents are pushing back against short-term vacation rentals. Residents Wednesday said they are sick of the noise and trash and are fighting to maintain the vibe of their neighborhood.
Strong winds will blow in San Diego County's deserts throughout the day Thursday with a mix of sun and clouds, as the marine layer extends to the inland communities.