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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A man who stabbed his pregnant estranged wife to death in front of the couple’s children in Chula Vista was sentenced Thursday to 15 years to life in prison.

Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 31, was convicted Feb. 8 of second-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Maribel Arteaga, but jurors acquitted the defendant of murder charges regarding the victim’s fetus.

ThJESUS ARTEAGA GARCIAe victim, a Customs and Border Protection agent, was two months pregnant with another man’s child at the time of the slaying.

Because the murder took place in front of the couple’s sons — who were 4 and 6 at the time — Garcia was also convicted of two misdemeanor counts of child abuse, for which he received credit for jail time served.

The victim’s boyfriend, Carlos Orga, also a CBP agent, testified that on Dec. 10, 2009, he was watching television with the victim when the defendant knocked on the door. Orga said he got up and went to his bedroom while the victim answered the door.

While in the bedroom, Orga heard a commotion and a bang, then the injured victim came into the bedroom with her children, saying the defendant stabbed her, he said.

Authorities said Garcia fled to Mexico after the slaying. He was extradited to the United States in July 2011. In order to ensure the extradition, U.S. authorities had to agree not to seek the death penalty.

 

JESUS ARTEAGA GARCIACHULA VISTA, Calif. — A man who fatally stabbed his pregnant estranged wife in front of the couple’s children was convicted Friday of second-degree murder, but jurors acquitted the defendant of murder charges for the death of the victim’s unborn fetus.

Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 31, also was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of child abuse because the murder was witnessed by the couple’s 4- and 6-year- old sons.

Sentencing was scheduled March 12 before South Bay Judge Ana Espana.

Prosecutors had charged the defendant with first-degree murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders in the Dec. 10, 2009 slaying of 28-year-old Maribel Arteaga and her fetus.

At the time, the victim, a Customs and Border Protection agent, was two months pregnant with another man’s child.

In an earlier hearing, a Chula Vista police officer testified he was first on the scene and recorded a conversation with the victim because he believed she would not survive. In the recording, which was played in court, the victim told Sgt. Carlos Valdivia that her estranged husband stabbed her in the back with a knife and that he was mad at her.

The victim’s boyfriend, Carlos Orga, also a CBP agent, testified that on the day of the slaying, he was watching television with the victim when the defendant knocked on the door. Orga said he got up and went to his bedroom while the victim answered the door.

While in the bedroom, Orga heard a commotion and a bang, then the injured victim came into the bedroom with her children, saying the defendant stabbed her, he said.

Authorities said the defendant fled to Mexico after the slaying. He was extradited to the United States in July 2011.

In order to ensure the extradition, U.S. authorities had to agree not to seek the death penalty.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Testimony got under way Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife, who was pregnant with another man’s child, in front of the couple’s children in Chula Vista.

Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 31, is charged with two counts of murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders in the Dec. 10, 2009, slaying of 28-year-old Maribel Arteaga, a Customs and Border Protection agent who was two months pregnant.

Garcia also faces child abuse counts because the slaying took place in front of the couple’s 4- and 6-year-old sons.

Jesus-Arteaga-GarciaTestimony in the trial is being heard in the courtroom of Judge Ana Espana.

In an earlier hearing, a Chula Vista police officer testified he was first on the scene and recorded a conversation with the victim because he believed she would not survive. In the recording, which was played in court, she told Sgt. Carlos Valdivia that her estranged husband stabbed her in the back with a knife and that he was mad at her.

The victim’s boyfriend, Carlos Orga, also a CBP agent, testified that on the day of the slaying, they were watching television when the defendant knocked on the door. Orga said he got up and went to his bedroom while the victim answered the door.

While in the bedroom, Orga heard a commotion and a bang, then the injured victim came into the bedroom with her children, saying the defendant stabbed her, he said.

Authorities said the defendant fled to Mexico after the slaying. He was extradited to the United States in July 2011.

In order to ensure the extradition, U.S. authorities had to agree not to seek the death penalty. If convicted, Garcia faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

jesus-arteagaCHULA VISTA, Calif. – After two years on the run in Mexico, Jesus Arteaga Garcia is back in Chula Vista to face charges of murdering his pregnant wife, a former border agent, police announced Wednesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protections officer Maribel Arteaga was two months pregnant when her estranged husband allegedly stabbed her to death.

On Wednesday, after a six-month extradition process, Arteaga Garcia was brought back to Chula Vista and will make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

“If you’re a felon, if you’re a fugitive, crossing the border…at some point, you’re going to be arrested,” said Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano. “We’re pleased to bring this individual back to face the charges and at least bring some kind of closure to the family.”

Maribel Arteaga’s two other children were inside her Chula Vista home at the time she was murdered, investigators said.

Jesus Arteaga Garcia had filed for divorce prior to the deaths.

Investigators said Arteaga Garcia ran to Mexico and hid with his sister and parents “in plain sight.”  U.S. Marshals and Mexican Federal Police arrested him in January while he was walking his dog.

Law enforcement indicated Arteaga Garcia’s family was less than sympathetic to the victims.  At a press conference to announce his capture, the U.S. Marshals office reiterated what Arteaga Garcia’s family said, “Maribel got what she deserved.”

Jesus Arteaga Garcia will be in court Thursday at 1:30 p.m..  He is being held without bail.

Jesus Arteaga Garcia & Maribel

Jesus Arteaga Garcia and Maribel Arteaga

Law enforcement officers across the region today sought the husband of a Chula Vista woman who was stabbed to death Thursday night in front of her two sons.

Maribel Arteaga, 28, was pregnant with her third child, when she was attacked at her apartment on Santa Alicia Avenue near East Palomar Street just before 8:30 p.m.

Jesus “Alex” Arteaga Garcia, 28, who police sought in the killing, filed for divorce from his wife on Nov. 17 after eight years of marriage, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“We don’t know if he’s going to cross the border or not,” Chula Vista police Lt. Roxana Kennedy told the Union-Tribune. “There is a concern that he is not in the right state of mind.”

A gray Ford Ranger pickup he was known to drive was found in Tijuana Friday night, the newspaper reported.

Witnesses told police that Jesus Arteaga knocked on his wife’s apartment door and, when she opened it, he stabbed her with a long-bladed hunting knife or fishing knife, Kennedy said.

The couple’s sons, 4 and 6, were home at the time of the attack, as was her live-in boyfriend, who works for the federal Department of Homeland Security. The boyfriend was in another room.

Maribel Arteaga, a rookie U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer hired in May, was two months pregnant, the Union-Tribune reported.

Jesus Arteaga, who works as a waterproofer, grew up in Tijuana and most recently lived in National City with his mother.

He may be driving an older-model blue Chevrolet minivan with the Mexican license BCW-66-27, or a newer-model white Chevrolet Cobalt LT with California license 6HKG044. He has a tattoo of a tiger on his right arm.

Anyone with more information was urged to call 911 or Chula Vista police at (619) 691-5151.

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