Man Accused in Brother's Stabbing Death Claims Self Defense

The man accused of stabbing his brother to death with a samurai sword and a barbeque fork claims he acted in self defense.

Opening statements were heard in the trial of Alberto Gonzalez Figueroa, 37, who is charged with first degree murder, torture and assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm in the 2013 stabbing death of his younger brother Mario.

Figueroa's defense attorney said he was acting in self defense after his brother attacked him with the samurai sword. They said the two wrestled each other for the weapons, and that Figueroa admittedly stabbed his brother, but he thought he too had been stabbed.

Prosecutors said Figueroa stabbed his brother 38 times from the top of his head down to his feet, then left him to die a slow and painful death.

The defendant was apparently staying in the same home as the victim, their mother and their grandfather at the time of the attack, according to the prosecution.

After their mother had left for work, the attack ensued, prosecutors said. The men's grandfather was still home and heard the yelling, but before he was able to call 911, prosecutors said Figueroa took the phone, tossed it in the bedroom with his brother's body and calmly told his grandfather, "Everything is fine."

Downstairs neighbor Veronica Mader, said she called 911 after she heard someone yelling, "Help me! Help me! Why are you doing this to me?"

Through tears and emotional testimony, Mader told the court she just knew something bad had happened.

"I just had a feeling that something was wrong," Mader said in testimony. "I can't explain it, but something in my guts told me it was something bad."

The defense asked the jury to consider one question while hearing the evidence: "Why on this day and why in this way?"

Testimony was also heard from Chula Vista Police officer Santhe Rosario and another woman who witnessed the defendant acting suspiciously on a bicycle shortly after the stabbing.

The trial is scheduled to continue Thursday.

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