Strangling of Wife in Men’s Restroom Brings Guilty Plea

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A man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged 19-year-old wife in a men’s bathroom at San Diego City College pleaded guilty Monday just before the start of his trial.

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Armando Gabriel Perez, 41, who was acting as his own attorney, faces life in prison in the Oct. 12, 2010, slaying of Diana Gonzalez. Opening statements in his trial were scheduled for this morning.

Perez fled to Mexico after the killing and remained a fugitive until he was arrested by Tijuana Metropolitan Police in February 2012. A sentencing date was not immediately set.

Perez, extradited to San Diego after prosecutors agreed not to seek his execution, was charged with murder and a special circumstance of lying in wait.

He and Gonzalez were married in December 2009 and had a 9-month-old daughter at the time of the murder. At his arraignment in August 2012, Deputy District Attorney Teresa Santana said Perez told Gonzalez he would kill her or her family if she ever left him. Gonzalez was stabbed so many time that police said it was hard to immediately identify her. Shortly before Gonzalez was found slain, her family reported her missing. Family members said they had been driving Gonzalez to and from school out of concern that Perez might try to harm her.

A month earlier, Gonzalez accused Perez of repeatedly assaulting her while holding her in motel rooms for several days, police said. Perez was jailed but released after four days when no charges were filed against him.

—City News Service

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