Thứ Sáu, Tháng Sáu 9, 2023
HomeNewsFormer UC Davis student pleads not guilty in fatal stabbing

Former UC Davis student pleads not guilty in fatal stabbing

Wearing a suicide vest, eyes downcast, the UC Davis alumnus charged in a series of heinous stabbings that terrorized this tree-lined college town over the past week pleaded not guilty Friday. with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Carlos Reales Dominguez, who was “separated” from UC Davis for poor academic performance less than two days before the violence began, appeared behind glass at Yolo Superior Court, wearing a designer vest to protect him from hurting himself and prevent others from harming him from harm. He was chained at the waist, his arms thin and naked.

The indictment documents list his age as 20, one year younger than the age Davis police provided when announcing his arrest on Thursday.

Dominguez spoke only briefly to the court to indicate that he waives his right to an expedited preliminary hearing. Based on the allegations and allegations of special circumstances, prosecutors may recommend the death penalty in the case. Dominguez remains incarcerated in the Yolo County jail on the pretext of not being released on bail.

Several of Dominguez’s family members sat in the courtroom near where he stood behind the glass. They declined to speak to reporters and quickly left their cars when the hearing was over.

IN a Thursday interviewDominguez’s father expressed extreme bewilderment and shock at his son’s arrest, describing Dominguez as an outstanding student and athlete at Castlemont High School in Oakland, where he graduated in 2020.

“This is inexplicable to me,” he told The Times, adding that he did not know UC Davis. got rid of my son for last week’s academic struggles. “He was very excited to come see Davis. I don’t understand how this can happen.”

Dominguez, born in El Salvador, entered the country in April 2009 as an unaccompanied minor, according to an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was transferred to a family member and his immigration case was administratively closed in April 2012.

This week, the agency sent a detainee to Dominguez, “if he is released from local custody,” the official said.

Dominguez is charged in a series of random stabbings that left two men dead and seriously injured a homeless woman. Two of the attacks occurred in local parks, casting a shadow over a city that celebrates well-used bike paths, youth sports and large green spaces. cobble. He was arrested by police Wednesday afternoon, after several Davis residents called police to say he matched descriptions provided by witnesses in the two attacks.

The investigation began April 27, after authorities found the bloody body of David Henry Breaux, 50, a Stanford University graduate, who slept in Davis’s Central Park and known around town for him meek and gentle according to the need of compassion. Breaux was stabbed to death on the bench where he used to sleep. No witnesses have come forward in that attack.

Two days later, 20-year-old Karim Abou Najm, a UC Davis graduate student who recently posted on social media about his joy at finding a job as a software engineer, was stabbed to death in Sycamore Park as he rode his bike home from a college event on Saturday night. A neighbor who was at the scene after hearing distressing sounds described the attacker as a young man with curly hair and a thin build who had fled on Najm’s bicycle.

On Monday night, a woman in her 60s was attacked while she was sleeping at a homeless camp on 2nd and L streets near downtown. She was alone in the tent when someone slashed the tarp, reached in, and stabbed her several times. The assailant ran away when her screams attracted the help of her campmates. She was taken to UC Davis Medical Center, where she is recovering from surgery.

On Wednesday, Dominguez was spotted walking through a park near where Najm was killed on April 29, wearing dark clothing – a black sweater and black sweatpants with white stripes – matching the descriptions of the animals. witness to the third attack. With wavy shoulder-length hair and a thin build, Dominguez’s appearance also matched the witness’ description.

Police arrested Dominguez and said they found a large “hunting knife” in his backpack. The weapon is consistent with what a police officer believes was used in the Breaux attack. Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said investigators spoke with Dominguez for hours before arresting him on all three counts. Pytel describes his style as “reserved” but declined to reveal details of the conversation.

Family members of the victims were left reeling. Maria Breaux, David’s sister, described her brother as someone who “had kindness and always had it.”

She said he moved to Davis around 2010 because he had a friend in the area and felt safe in Davis’ relaxed atmosphere. Over the years, he has become a popular figure in town, known as the “Good Boy” for his habit of praising people for embodying the spirit of humanity and selflessness. In 2013, Breaux worked with the city to erect a ceramic bench that celebrates the value of compassion. He interviewed audience members about their views on kindness and empathy, as part of a weekly YouTube series.

“That’s where he created a community and impacted thousands upon thousands of people,” his sister said in a tearful interview.

stabbings send a chill through Davis, as residents cowered in fear. The city’s popular bike paths are deserted, cafes close early, and UC Davis moves its evening classes online. Parents who often let their children walk or ride bicycles to school suddenly organize carpooling.

In a sign of how closely connected the community is, Yolo Supreme Court Justice Dan Wolk, a former mayor of Davis, opened Friday’s trial by revealing that he, too, had been touched. committed by crime.

He and his wife live about half a mile from Sycamore Park, where Najm was killed, he said. And on the night of the fatal stabbing, about 40 minutes before, his wife was walking the family dog ​​with her dog and saw someone who “may or may not match the suspect’s description.”

She then reported the sighting to police, Wolk told the courtroom, but officers did not follow up.

Hours after Dominguez was charged, hundreds of Najm’s relatives and friends gathered in the reception room on the UC Davis campus to celebrate his life.

Najm was born in Lebanon and moved with his family to Davis in 2018 after his father, a soil scientist, became a professor at UC Davis. Najm is six weeks away from graduating early from UC Davis with a computer science degree.

“We lost our son in the most tragic way,” the boy’s mother, Nadine Abou Najm, told a room filled with sobbing friends and family. However, she added: “I will focus on the good of humanity and the community.”

She said, in Arabic, Karim means “generous” and her son is very generous. It was something that stuck with her in the days after he was killed, as his parents had heard so many stories about how he reached out to connect with people.

One after another talked about a lively and kind young man. And also very competitive, he is known to cheat in online chess. Lee Miller, his mentor, told the assembled people that he was impatient in pushing his research and was excited about developing a better hearing aid. He calls his best friend, Aman Ganapathy, every day and isn’t afraid to say he loves him. Some say he has an odd fashion sense, but has an impeccable taste in coffee.

His father, Majdi Abou Najm, said the family is working with UC Davis to launch a student research award, so his son’s spirit of inquiry can continue. The fund received over $87,000 in donations from over 700 people.

His father also asked mourners to remember their son in another way: by telling the people in their life that they loved them. He paused service so everyone present could make a quick phone call.

Najm’s mother calls for more to be done to tackle mental illness. She notes that her son is a good listener.

“Mental health is a national crisis,” she said. “And we can’t turn our backs [if we want to understand] thing that turns people into monsters. If you see someone struggling, do something about it.”

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