Saturday, April 24, 2010

El Paso, TX woman gets light sentence for killing husband with knife

An El Paso, TX woman will only be in jail for a little under 2 months after her conviction of criminally negligent homicide in the stabbing death of her husband. Judge Bonnie Rangel sentenced the woman to 2 years after jurors acquitted her of murder and manslaughter on Friday. The killer, 25 year old Leslie Alvarado, was convicted of stabbing to death 32 year old Leopoldo Mosqueda, who bled to death after being attacked on November 4, 2007.

Both the prosecution and defense attorney accepted that Alvarado stabbed her husband in the arm intentionally. However, there were differences in their arguments about why the killing happened. The trial, presided over by 171st District Court Judge Bonnie Rangel, began Monday with closing arguments on Thursday.

During his closing argument Thursday, [defense attorney Ruben]Hernandez said that Alvarado stabbed her husband in self-defense.He argued that Leopoldo Mosqueda had tried to rape her the night he died. If Alvarado had wanted to kill Mosqueda, she would have stabbed him in a vital organ and not in the arm, he said.

But Assistant District Attorney Scott Ferguson argued that Alvarado purposely selected a large knife for the attack. Ferguson took the knife that killed Mosqueda and stabbed the air in front of the jury during his closing argument. "When you stab someone like this in the arm, two or three times, you know at the very least that she's intending to cause death or serious bodily injury," he said.

Ferguson also argued that a taped jail conversation of Alvarado showed that she had a motive for killing her husband because she had a relationship with a woman.

On Wednesday, April 21, prosecutors brought up an August 2003 incident in which Alvarado allegedly hit her husband with a bat, but the victim dropped charges. Dr. Timothy Proctor reviewed the records of both the victim and defendant, with the records showing that Alverado had been abused regularly, and Mosqueda was diagnosed as bipolar. "It was a very chaotic relationship, and what I saw was mutual aggression," Proctor said.

After Judge Rangel's sentencing, the victim's sister, Maria Teresa Mosqueda, said that despite the strained relationship with her brother, "I can never forgive you. Never." Hernandez told reporters "I think we're still happy with the result because it wasn't a murder. She didn't plan it, and she didn't want that result."

Judge Rangel sentenced Alvarado to 2 years for aggravated assault for attacking Vickie Dobson at a mall, causing head injuries.The aggravated assault sentence will be served concurrently with the homicide charges.

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