Actor convicted of premeditated attempted murder

VISTA (CNS) – A character actor was convicted Thursday of premeditated
attempted murder and assault for stabbing his girlfriend more than 20 times
after showing up in the backyard of her San Marcos home two years ago.

Shelley Malil — who played an electronics store clerk in “The 40-Year-
Old Virgin” — was acquitted of a burglary charge.

Deliberations began Wednesday afternoon, but Judge Harry Elias replaced
a juror at midday today, and the reconstituted jury reached a verdict in just a
few hours.

Malil, 45, faces 14 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for Nov. 18.
Prosecutor Keith Watanabe said he was relieved and thankful for the
jury's verdict.

“We had an intelligent, logical jury,” Watanabe said. “They weren't
going to let Malil get away with this. Malil isn't going to win any Oscars for
his performance in the courtroom. His testimony was completely unbelievable and
the jury rejected it.

“It's a miracle Kendra Beebe is alive today. This case is every woman's
worst nightmare — an ex-lover showing up at her house with a knife to kill

In his closing argument on Tuesday, Watanabe told the jury that there
was overwhelming evidence that the defendant tried to kill Beebe.

Watanabe said Malil initially stabbed Beebe with a steak knife he
brought from home and continued stabbing the victim on the side of the house
with a butcher knife.

Malil's defense team portrayed Beebe, 38, as having a history of
violence and lacking credibility because she lied under oath at a family court

Watanabe said the woman was telling the truth when she said Malil
attacked her the night of Aug. 10, 2008.

Defense attorney Matthew Roberts, in his closing argument, told the jury
that Malil did not premeditate but instead “overreacted” and believed he
was acting in self-defense.

Malil, who lives in Sherman Oaks, testified Monday that he went to
Beebe's home that night to apologize for leaving her and her cousin at the
beach the night before, stealing personal items and some marijuana from her
home and e-mailing nude photos of them to her co-workers.

Malil said he arrived at Beebe's home to find a sliding-glass door open
and located Beebe sitting in the backyard with a man he didn't know, with two
glasses of wine poured. The man was identified as David Maldonado.

Malil said he approached Beebe and accidentally stepped on her toe, and
she screamed.

Malil said he fell onto a table and heard Maldonado's chair move, so he
grabbed the steak knife that was in the table's empty umbrella well, thinking
he could ward Maldonado off if he was planning an attack.

The men struggled over the steak knife and it ended up being thrown over
the fence, Malil said.

The actor said he saw Maldonado go to his car and reach for something,
which he figured was a gun. Malil said he tried to call 911 from Beebe's phone,
but it was dead, so he grabbed the butcher knife from the kitchen.

He said he went to the side of the house and looked through two windows
to see if Maldonado was returning. As he listened for the sound of Maldonado's
boots, Malil said he was hit in the head from behind with what felt like a
“granite block.”

Malil said he fell down and got hit again and put his hands up to defend
himself, still holding the butcher knife.

“I was freaking out,” Malil said. “My hands were moving 100 miles per
hour. I was poking and swinging as hard as I could. I wasn't aiming for
anything. I was hoping to find space between me and who was attacking me.”

Malil said the person he was fighting never screamed or said anything,
and he didn't realize it was Beebe until he heard a woman tell someone to call

Malil said he got up and saw a bloodied Beebe lying on a couch but
didn't realize how badly she was injured.

A neighbor arrived and told Malil to put the knife down, and Malil got
in his car and drove back to his home in Sherman Oaks.

Malil — who was one of the “What are YOU doing? guys in Anheuser-
Busch's spin-off of its “Whassup?” Super Bowl commercials — was arrested the
next day as he made his way to San Diego by train to turn himself in.

According to court testimony, Malil and Beebe dated on-and-off for about
a year after meeting through an Internet dating site.

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