LANCASTER – After months of delays, the 34-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend in front of their children in 2008 was finally arraigned in an Antelope Valley courtroom Monday.
Jesus “Chuey” Canales pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in connection with the death of Lucy Preciado, a 26-year-old mother of four. Canales is due back in court on May 2 for a preliminary hearing. After that court hearing, a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence against Canales to take the case to trial.
On July 12, 2008, Preciado was stabbed to death with a sword, allegedly by Canales, during a domestic dispute at the couple’s apartment in the 4100 block of West Avenue L in Lancaster.
The stabbing occurred in front of the couple’s small children; and the incident was covered extensively by America’s Most Wanted, which featured the young daughter’s “911” call. (Listen to the call here).
Four days after the 2008 slaying, Canales was charged with Preciado’s murder. He fled the United States and was on the run until authorities caught up to him in 2013.
Canales, a citizen of El Salvador, was located in Jalisco, Mexico. Mexican authorities expelled Canales from the country and released him to the U.S. Marshals in November of 2013.
Canales was booked for Preciado’s murder on Nov. 16, 2013, and he has remained in county jail without bail since his arrest. If convicted as charged, Canales faces a maximum state prison sentence of 30 years to life.
UPDATED 5/2/14: The preliminary hearing for Jesus Canales did not happen on Friday, May 2, as previously scheduled. The hearing was instead postponed until Wednesday, May 14. After that court hearing, a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence against Canales to take the case to trial.
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