Man accused of fatally stabbing wife pleads not guilty

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife in a parking lot at a South Bay sheriff’s substation pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge and was ordered held on $5 million bail.

Marvin DuncanMarvin Dennis Duncan faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted of killing his 36-year-old wife, Rocio, said Deputy District Attorney Ted Minahan.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Duncan pressed an intercom button at a side door at the precinct house on Imperial Beach Boulevard, said sheriff’s homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio.

When a deputy answered, Duncan, who was holding two toddlers, announced he had just killed his spouse of three years, according to the lieutenant.

The mortally wounded victim was found lying on the ground on the west side of the substation. She died a short time later.

“He stabbed her repeatedly in the arm, chest, back of the head approximately 15 times,” said Minahan.

Duncan, 59, was detained for questioning and later arrested. The children, who were unharmed, were taken into protective custody.

Minahan said Duncan may have been motivated by the couple’s separation.

“Prior to the murder, the defendant was upset in regards to the separation with the victim as well as the child custody arrangement,” said Minahan.

Duncan will be back in court Feb. 21 for a readiness conference and Feb. 25 for a preliminary hearing.