Man charged with stabbing wife at City College pleads guilty at start of trial
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man admitted Monday that he stalked his 19-year-old wife after she filed a restraining order against him, then stabbed her to death in a men’s restroom at San Diego City College, ensuring that the 41-year-old defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Armando Gabriel Perez, acting as his own attorney, told Judge Charles Rogers that he wanted to plead guilty just as Deputy District Attorney Teresa Santana was to present her opening statement in his trial.
“I know it’s the right thing to do,” Perez told the judge. “I want to plead guilty to all charges.”
Perez pleaded guilty to premeditated first-degree murder and admitted a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait in the Oct. 12, 2010, killing of Diana Gonzalez.
With the jury out of the courtroom, Perez turned toward his late wife’s mother, sister and brother to apologize.
“Save your words,” the victim’s mother told the defendant.
Outside court, the victim’s older sister told reporters that Perez’s apology “meant nothing.”
“We know what kind of person he is,” Janette Gonzalez said.
Perez will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Jan. 16.
Santana said Perez was a married man with children when he met the victim and got her pregnant the day she turned 18.
Perez and Gonzalez were married in December 2009 and he began beating her a few months later after they moved into together, Santana said.
After Perez abducted Gonzalez in September 2010, she filed a restraining order against him.
The restraining order made Perez angry and he began stalking Gonzalez, ultimately grabbing her as she walked to her car at school, where she was “slaughtered” in a men’s bathroom, Santana said.
The defendant had told the victim that he would kill her if she ever tried to leave him, the prosecutor said.
Perez fled to Mexico after the killing and remained a fugitive until he was arrested by Tijuana Metropolitan Police in February 2012 and returned to San Diego.