Estranged Husband Arrested in Alleged Double Murder

The three of them were nurses at Donovan State Prison.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The man in jail for allegedly murdering his wife and her male companion on Sunday was a registered nurse at Donovan State Prison. In fact, all three were nurses employed by the California Department of Corrections, according to the North County Times.

    Melchor Marabante, 41, who was arrested Sunday at a Murrieta hospital, had worked at Donovan along with his estranged wife, Valerie Marabante, 23, since 2010, according to the NCT. The other victim Bernabe Villamar, 26, had worked at the prison since 2008, the paper said.

    The married couple had recently moved to the complex to be closer to their jobs, but Melchor Marabante had moved out a week before the shooting, said San Diego Police Lt. Kevin Rooney.

    Detectives allege Melchor Marabante shot and killed his wife Valerie Marabante, 23, and Bernabe Villamar, 26, around 3 a.m. Neighbors heard gunshots around that time, but patrol units did not find anything suspicious when they investigated. A friend discovered the victims about 8:20 a.m. on Sunday morning.

    “There were some phone calls that were made subsequent to that by people who are acquainted with this couple, prompting a man to come out here before 8 a.m.,” Rooney said. “He ended up here at the residence. He ended up calling police himself -- they ended up finding the folks deceased.”

    Officers arrested Marabante at a Murrieta hospital, where he was being treated for undisclosed reasons.

    Melchor Marabante will be arraigned on Thursday.