San Diego Man Says He Can't Remember Killing Wife

A San Diego man has been found guilty of the violent murder of his estranged wife.

The case of defendant Armando Perez, who was 37 a the time of the murder, has been long and difficult for all involved. His wife, 19 year old Diana Gonzalez, was killed in a men's restroom of the San Diego City College back on October 12, 2010. Her death was distressingly thorough: she was strangled, stabbed multiple times in her face, neck, chest and genitals, and had the word "Bitch" carved into her back.

The altercation took place a few months after the birth of the couple's first child, a girl. Gonzalez had been taking classes at the college, with plans to become a nurse. She and Perez already had a history of domestic violence; the killing came shortly after Perez allegedly kept her prisoner in a motel room for two days against her will. Police had investigated the incident but did not issue charges.

"He just choked my sister, and threw her in the car, and my sister literally didn't know anything about herself until she woke up, and she had blood all over her face," Gonzalez's sister, Janette, said about the incident.

Gonzalez had a restraining order against him when she was killed.

Perez says that the killing occurred during an argument, during which Gonzalez called him "stupid" and threatened to withhold access to the couple's daughter.

After the killing, Perez fled to Mexico and went into hiding for about a year. He was eventually captured and sent back to the United States to face charges for the murder.

Perez plead guilty in 2014, but an appeals court threw it out after determining that he did not have proper counsel. His second trial ended on Friday, September 15, 2017, with him found guilty of both first-degree murder and lying in wait. He will not be sentenced until November 16.

Perez maintains that he should have been charged with manslaughter, as he believes that he killed his wife in a fit of passion, not premeditated murder. However, he claims that he does not remember actually committing the bloody crime, though he can recall at least some of the fight beforehand, as well as the aftermath, where he washed his hands and took the knife before fleeing.

“It was me but I just became a monster. I don’t know what happened,” he testified.