Jury selection is slated to get underway Thursday for the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing his 31-year-old wife at their Moreno Valley apartment.

Jose Alexander Rivas, 38, is charged with first-degree murder and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a knife in the commission of a felony for the slaying nearly two years ago of Dixie Annabelle Rivas.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mac Fisher heard pretrial motions Tuesday concerning scheduling and witnesses for what’s expected to be a roughly weeklong trial at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

The judge ordered several panels of prospective jurors to the courthouse Thursday for screening as to their availability and qualifications.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche, deputies were called to the couple’s apartment at the intersection of JFK Drive and Perris Boulevard about 4:30 a.m. on March 19, 2018, to investigate reports of an assault.

Deputies found the defendant’s wife inside the residence, suffering from stab wounds to the upper body, Brosche said. The mother of three died at the scene.

Brosche said the defendant was questioned at the scene by homicide detectives and taken into custody without a struggle.

A possible motive was not disclosed.

Rivas, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

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