A jury was seated Friday in the trial of a probationer accused of fatally beating and stabbing a Lake Elsinore man during a frenzied attack sparked by a family quarrel.
Andy Dean Abegg, 35, could face 26 years to life in state prison if convicted of murder with a sentence-enhancing weapon allegation for the 2014 death of 59-year-old Joseph Madrigal.
Following two days of screening prospects, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles Koosed seated a jury to hear evidence in what’s expected to be about a weeklong trial at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday. Abegg is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to prosecutors, on the afternoon of April 14, 2014, the defendant went to his mother’s house in the 28000 block of Red Gum Drive, on the northern edge of Lake Elsinore, to assist with a septic tank replacement that the woman’s longtime live-in boyfriend, Madrigal, could not do by himself.
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Abegg’s mom, identified in court documents only by her initials, V.G., served both men beer, and after several drinks, the defendant became aggressive, sheriff’s investigators allege.
Abegg began berating his mother, making caustic remarks that angered Madrigal, who told the defendant to leave, according to trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Alberto ReCalde.
“When Abegg refused to go, the victim took a bat, approached the defendant and again demanded that he leave,” the brief states. “When the defendant continued to refuse, the victim swung the bat at the defendant. During the swing, (Abegg) grabbed the bat from the victim … (and) hit the victim several times in the head.”
As Madrigal stumbled inside the house, Abegg allegedly struck him several more times, at which point the victim blacked out and collapsed into a chair, according to the brief.
“The violence escalated when the defendant starting throwing chairs at the victim’s head,” ReCalde wrote. “The victim sat, with his hands at his side, dripping blood from the multiple injuries he suffered. The defendant continued to strike the victim in the head while the victim sat with his hands at his side.”
V.G. screamed at her son to stop and, with the bat in her possession, fled outside, yelling for help, according to the prosecution.
Neighbors called 911, but before deputies could get there, Abegg allegedly plunged a five-inch serrated knife retrieved from the kitchen into one of Madrigal’s eyes, “inserting the entire blade into the victim’s skull,” ReCalde said.
Deputies and paramedics discovered Madrigal in the chair, unconscious and bleeding profusely but clinging to life. He was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he died two days later from a combination of blunt force trauma and a stab wound to the brain.
Abegg was taken into custody without incident.
According to court records, in February 2013, he was sentenced to three years probation for violating a domestic violence-related restraining order. He has other misdemeanor convictions for obstructing a peace officer, driving under the influence and battery, records showed.
–City News Service
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