LANCASTER – A 34-year-old man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death with a sword in a Lancaster apartment six years ago must stand trial, a judge ruled after a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Jesus Canales was ordered to stand trial for the murder of Lucy Preciado, the 26-year-old mother of four who was killed in front of her children on July 12, 2008. Canales is also charged with four counts of child abuse.
Four days after the 2008 slaying, Canales was charged with Preciado’s murder; but he fled the United States and was on the run until authorities caught up to him in Mexico this past November. (Read more here.)
At Wednesday’s preliminary court hearing, Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Jeffrey Leslie testified about what Canales said in an interview following his capture.
Canales said he had been on the streets high on methamphetamines for about three or four days prior to the fatal incident, Leslie testified. Canales said he went back to the couple’s apartment to sleep, and in the late night/early morning hours, Preciado came home drunk with the kids, Leslie testified.
Canales claimed Preciado was screaming and throwing clothes, and then she picked up a bat and began smashing items in the bedroom, Leslie testified.
Canales told detectives that Preciado struck him with the bat, and then he took a sword from behind the door, stabbed Preciado twice and left the apartment, Leslie testified.
The young children witnessed the incident, the detective said. It was Preciado’s 9-year-old daughter who called 9-1-1. Listen to chilling call here.
Preciado died from two stab wounds, each of them fatal, testified Dr. Kevin Young, Deputy Medical Examiner at the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner. Testifying about one of the wounds, Young said the blade went through Preciado’s chest and exited her back.
Young also testified that Preciado had alcohol and marijuana in her system when she died.
Deputy Public Defender C. Edward Mack argued that the murder charge should be reduced to manslaughter, saying the incident was “somewhat of a mutual combat.”
His motion was denied and Canales was ordered to stand trial on all charges – murder with a special allegation of personal use of a deadly a weapon (sword), and four counts of child abuse.
Canales is due back in court Thursday, May 29, for a second arraignment.
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