SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of fatally stabbing his 19-year-old estranged wife in a San Diego City College restroom more than two years ago must stand trial on a murder charge, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Armando Gabriel Perez, 39, was arrested in Tijuana a year ago and handed over to San Diego authorities six months later in connection with the Oct. 12, 2010, slaying of Diana Gonzalez.
The victim's mother, Conception Carranza, testified that her daughter told her the defendant choked her during a two-day disappearance about a month before she was killed.
Carranza said her daughter never came home from a night class at San Diego City College in September 2010, then showed up at the family home two days later with blood all over her face.
"She said, 'Look at what he (Perez) did to me,"' Carranza testified. "He was choking me."
Carranza said Perez showed up at the door and her husband got him to leave.
The victim's mother said they reported the abuse to police and that her daughter obtained a restraining order against the defendant.
Judge Robert F. O'Neill ruled that enough evidence was presented during the two-day preliminary hearing for Perez to proceed to trial on a murder charge with a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait. A Superior Court arraignment was scheduled for Feb. 28.
Perez faces life in prison without parole if convicted. U.S. authorities agreed not to seek the death penalty in return for the defendant's extradition from Mexico.
Deputy District Attorney Teresa Santana told a judge at Perez's arraignment last August that he and the victim wed in December 2009 and had a baby daughter a week later. Perez had a history of domestic violence against Gonzalez and at one point, told the victim he would kill her or her family if she ever left him, the prosecutor alleged.
When she enrolled in classes at San Diego City College in the fall of 2010, Perez went with her even though he was not enrolled, Santana said.
The night of the murder, the victim's family gave her a ride to school and students in her class noticed Perez perched in a tree and later saw him waiting for her, according to the prosecutor.
The victim's parents reported her missing, and later a man discovered her body in a men's restroom on campus. She had been stabbed in the neck and all over her body, Santana said.
Perez ran from the scene and took the trolley and hid out in Mexico, Santana said.
The National Weather Service is predicting rain around San Diego County this week, potentially heavy rain on Thursday. People in unincorporated areas can get free sandbags at numerous locations to help them protect their homes, properties and communities.
Influenza deaths and cases went up last week and the number of emergency department visits due to influenza-like illness remained the same, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.
A hearing is underway Wednesday to determine if Tieray Jones will be re-tried in the case of a toddler who vanished 16 years ago.
A Pacific storm that promises to heavily douse much of Southern California this week will deliver a considerably less dramatic infusion of precipitation in the San Diego area, according to the National Weather Service.
The Kia Classic is back for the 9th year; this is the 6th year the tournament will be played at Aviara Golf Club.
An increased police presence is expected Wednesday at Serra High after a threatening message was written on a school wall.
Mexican Federal Police make a shocking discovery at the Tijuana Airport overnight. They were searching for drugs, when they found a tiger and black panther cub.
A Mexican woman in the U.S. illegally who was dragged away from her daughters by authorities in a widely viewed video was being released on her own recognizance Tuesday by an immigration judge in Southern California.
After a nearly three-hour public hearing, the City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday to approve a facility that would allow homeless people to store their valuables.