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California teacher accused of fatally stabbing estranged wife

A Southern California elementary school teacher is accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife. The 46-year-old man pleaded not guilty to murder charges. He also faces several other charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and making criminal threats. Another man was also injured in the assault when he attempted to help the woman, according to witnesses at the scene.

The 43-year-old woman had an active restraining order against her husband at the time of the attack. The day before she was killed, she made a formal complaint with the local police that he was not complying with the court order. The restraining order had been in effect for nearly two months. According to investigators, the attack began in the home of the woman's friend and ended in the street, where she was lethally stabbed.

The husband of the woman was located two days after the attack 120 miles away at a motel, where he was taken into custody and charged with her murder. The defendant attended his arraignment in a wheelchair with visible bandages but the details of his injuries were not released. His attorney claims that the true facts are not being reported in the media and will be revealed at the trial.

Violent crimes such as this one carry severe criminal penalties upon conviction. A lawyer who has experience with homicide cases may be able to present relevant facts and explain mitigating circumstances. Criminal cases involving violent crimes may be resolved without going to trial. Plea bargains and reduced charges may be negotiated on behalf of a defendant in a criminal matter if the charges cannot be dropped altogether.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Teacher charged with murder in estranged wife's stabbing death", Jonathan Lloyd and Patrick Healy, June 19, 2013

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