BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who prosecutors say stabbed his girlfriend multiple times — including in the heart — has been found guilty of charges including attempted voluntary manslaughter and faces up to 23 years in prison, prosecutors say.
Julio Angel Torrez, 34, had faced a charge of attempted murder, but a jury instead convicted him of the lesser charge of attempted manslaughter. Jurors also convicted him of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, spousal abuse and willful cruelty to a child.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 2.
On March 20, 2019, neighbors reported hearing screaming around 11 p.m. from the apartment where Torrez and the woman lived, according to an account of the incident provided by the District Attorney’s office. Witnesses saw the woman run down the stairs with her two children, ages 11 and 4, then collapse.
A witness who had medical training provided first aid until emergency responders arrived. The woman suffered stab wounds to her arm, chest and heart, prosecutors said. She received “extensive” medical care and survived, the DA’s office said.
Officers searched the apartment and found blood on the walls, a discarded kitchen knife and identifying information of Torrez, who had fled.
The next day, Torrez, having left his identification in the woman’s apartment, went to the DMV to get a new card, prosecutors said. While there, he was contacted by California Highway Patrol officers, and he resisted arrest and gave them a false name.
Officers noticed three horizontal cuts on Torrez’s hand that were consistent with the use of a stabbing weapon, according to the DA’s office.
While in jail, Torrez made hundreds of calls to the victim and told her not to speak with prosecutors or law enforcement, and to not show up in court, the DA’s office said. The woman did not testify at Torrez’s trial.
District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said Torrez’s attempts to persuade the woman not to testify ultimately worked against him.
“In his effort to coerce the victim not to testify, Torrez made abundantly clear that he was responsible for this vicious attack, and his own words proved to be more powerful evidence than even the testimony he sought to prevent,” Zimmer said.