Husband arraigned in murder of Escondido cop - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Husband arraigned in murder of Escondido cop

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MURRIETA (CBS 8) - The husband of an Escondido police officer accused in her murder faced a judge Friday.

Freddy Rodas, 27, pleaded not guilty to shooting and killing 25-year-old Laura Perez.

Family members at his arraignment Friday described him as "a very good person."

Inside the courtroom, Perez uttered just one word – "yes." He appeared stone-faced, and often times withdrawn as he pleaded not

guilty to three charges involving the murder of his wife Laura.

"We've charged him with one count each of murder, arson and personal use of a firearm," John Hall with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said.

On Wednesday, Perez called 911 to report a fire at his Murrieta home. In video, Perez is seen standing outside as firefighters douse the flames. Investigators quickly realized the fire was arson.

Perez later admitted to shooting Laura, dumping her body in a storage locker in Morena Valley, then setting their home ablaze to

cover up the evidence.

In court, prosecutors described what else detectives found inside that locker.

"There was upwards of $85,000 to $100,000 in that locker," a prosecutor said.

For that reason -- and the fact he has relatives in Guatemala -- prosecutors requested bail be set at $2 million, saying Perez is a flight risk. His court-appointed attorney, meanwhile, argued for half that, explaining that most of his family lives here, and he has a clean past.

"He has no criminal record. He's lived in the county for 18 years," his attorney said.

The judge sided with the prosecution.

As for the couple's 4-year-old daughter, officials have not confirmed whether or not she was home when her mother was killed, but at least one neighbor says she was.

"She is with other family members and being well taken care of in this obviously tragic situation," Hall said.

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