San Diego

Man Accused of Killing Wife Was ‘Controlling,' Victim's Sister Testifies

An appellate court overturned Perez's prior conviction of killing his wife

The sister of a 19-year-old victim allegedly killed by her husband in the bathroom at San Diego City College testified in court Tuesday that her sister's husband was controlling.

"She couldn't wear certain clothes, she couldn't wear certain shoes, high heels," Jeanette Gonzalez testified.

Her sister, Diana Gonzalez, was found dead in the men's restroom at the college on Oct. 12, 2010.

Gonzalez' estranged husband, Armando Perez, 44, pleaded guilty to killing her and was sentenced to life in prison in January 2015 without the possibility of parole.

But an appellate court later overturned the conviction, ruling that Perez lacked the necessary legal counsel to plead guilty to Gonzalez's murder, even though he insisted on representing himself during the trial.

Investigators found a trail of domestic violence leading up to the alleged murder in October 2010.

A few weeks before her death, Gonzalez had accused Perez of kidnapping and raping her. But according to the district attorney's office, charges were not filed due to lack of evidence. 

Gonzalez did get a restraining order against Perez, with whom she shared a 9-month-old daughter with at the time.

"She would hardly say anything. She won’t really have any type of conversation," Gonzalez' sister testified. "It was just like, whatever I’ll ask her will be ‘yes, no.' Not much...I guess she didn’t really have much to say in front of [Perez]."

Tuesday, a witness who knew Perez and Gonzalez testified in court that Gonzales once came to her with a bruise on her face.

"I went to the market and I bought a steak," said Maria De Rosario Chavez, through a translator. "I put it on her face where she had the bruise."

After the restraining order was issued, Gonzalez' family said they escorted her wherever she went because she was so afraid of Perez.

The night Gonzalez was found dead inside the bathroom, her family had been waiting for her in the parking lot.

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