A state appeals court panel Thursday upheld a Sherman Oaks man’s conviction for fatally stabbing his wife.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that instructions given in Aurelio Teran’s trial misled jurors about the applicable test for provocation.
Teran was convicted last April of first-degree murder for the Aug. 27, 2017, slaying of his 32-year-old wife, Viridiana Gonzalez.
Jurors also convicted Teran of one count each of making criminal threats, injuring a spouse and attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime, along with finding true an allegation that he used a knife in the commission of the murder.
“There was no evidence of provocation,” the appellate court panel found in its nine-page ruling. “Rather, the evidence was that Teran had a long history of abusing Gonzalez. On the day of the murder, Teran assaulted Gonzalez multiple times, finally prompting her to seek police protection. After a significant amount of time had passed since last assaulting Gonzalez, Teran broke into the bedroom. When Gonzalez gave him the protective order, he beat and stabbed her.”
The woman told the couple’s son — who tried to defend her — to run from the home, and the boy heard his father angrily yelling at him that he would be back as his dad left their apartment with a knife, according to the appellate court panel’s ruling.
Teran fled to Ventura County, where he was arrested the next day after being struck by a car. A Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant who responded to a call of a “pedestrian on the roadway” recognized Teran as the suspect being sought in his wife’s stabbing death, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Teran was sentenced last June to 29 years to life in state prison.
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