Monday, September 20, 2010

Man who dropped into house, stabbed estranged wife to death sentenced to life without parole

On Friday, September 17, a Ft. Worth, TX man who stabbed his estranged wife to death in front of his 8 year old twin boys, named after him, was sentenced to life without parole by State District Judge Mike Thomas. 41-year-old Alma Garcia was stabbed to death by her husband, 42 year old Abel Noe Dominguez, on March 8, 2009. Dominguez broke into his wife's house and stabbed her between 11 PM and 10 AM, according to the testimony of his two oldest children, earning him a capital murder charge, which is applied to murder committed in the course of another felony, in this case, burglary.

[Noely] Dominguez, 17, said she spent most of the day [March 7, 2009] at South Hills High School practicing track and cheerleading.

She said her brothers, Abel and Noe, were at a neighbor’s house while their mother and Janette [Jaimes, 20 year old]were at a birthday party. After returning home about 10 p.m., Dominguez said she picked up her brothers and went back to their house, where the boys watched television in their mother’s room. Dominguez said she watched TV in her own room.

About 11 p.m., when she looked out the window after her dog began barking, Dominguez said she saw a ladder leaned up against the house. Several hours after she went to sleep, she heard her mother and Janette come home but she went back to sleep, she said.

Prosecutors contend that Dominguez broke into the home and waited for Garcia. Defense attorneys say that Dominguez walked through the front door of a house that he shared with Garcia.

Nohely Dominguez said she and Janette were awakened about 11 a.m. by her brothers screaming, “Wake up, I think Mommy’s dead.” When she hesitantly went into her mother’s room, where the boys had been sleeping, Dominguez found “blood everywhere” and her mother['s] body. “We tried shaking her but she was dead,” she said.

During closing arguments,  prosecutors Alana Minton and Kimberly D'Avignon argued that the break-in was burglary because the victim's sister owned the home and the victim kicked her husband out during a violent argument two weeks before her murder. While defense attorneys Wes Ball and Santiago Salinas argued it was Dominguez' home because he made mortgage payments for 15 years, Minton said that the way he entered - climbing onto the roof, dropping through a hole in his sons' room, then lying in wait to stab him victim 19 times, made it murder committed during a burglary.

The burglary specification was significant because in Texas, jurors can convict defendants of capital murder, which carried life without parole or the death penalty, if the homicide is committed during the course of another felony. In Texas, burglary is defined as breaking into someone's home without permission to commit another felony. If not, the homicide becomes simple murder, punishable by 5 to 99 years with one-third to serve. Tarrant County jurors found Dominguez guilty of capital murder after three hours of deliberation over two days.

During the victim impact statement, made after sentencing, Patricia Rodriguez, the homeowner and sister of the victim, said that the children They not only lost their mother. They lost their father. They still have nightmares and cry themselves to sleep because what you’ve done.”

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