San Diego

Jury Selection Begins in Re-Trial of Man Accused of Killing Young Wife

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

Jury selection is set to begin Monday at the re-trial of a man previously convicted of killing his 19-year-old estranged wife in the bathroom at San Diego City College.

Armando Perez, 44, pleaded guilty to killing Diana Gonzalez in the men's restroom nearly seven years ago.

Perez vanished to Mexico shortly after the alleged killing on Oct. 12, 2010. He was arrested by Tijuana police in February 2012 and extradited back to the United States.

Perez was sentenced to life in prison in January 2015, but an appellate court later overturned the conviction. The fourth appellate district ruled 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. Gonzalez's family said the system failed her. She asked the authorities for help just weeks before she was killed.

The defendant was previously arrested on allegations of kidnapping, rape and assault to the victim. When the district attorney's office reviewed the case, they declined to press charges.

Gonzalez had filed a temporary restraining order against Perez, who shared a 9-month-old daughter with her at the time.

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