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USA: Man attacks stepdaughter’s killer in court while listening to wife’s emotional testimony

The Man attacked his stepdaughter's killer in court while listening to his wife's emotional testimony.

On Wednesday (17th January), during the sentencing hearing in California, a man lashed out at the killer of his stepdaughter. The sorrowful man landed at least one punch before court bailiffs intervened, separating him from the killer of his stepdaughter. Accused Euren Balbuena, aged 33, received a sentence of 33 years to life in prison for the 2020 murder of his 31-year-old girlfriend, Zaira Patino-Trejo. On Thursday, the verdict was announced by Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko.

The assailant, in Simi Valley, USA, fatally stabbed Patino-Trejo in the presence of her mother, Ariadna Avetisyan, who also suffered a head laceration. During an emotional victim impact statement, where Avetisyan was expressing how Patino-Trejo’s loss had profoundly impacted their family, her husband lunged at Balbuena in the courtroom.

The stepfather was escorted out of the courtroom after the altercation with the accused killer. Impact statements resumed about an hour later. County sheriff’s officials had not filed a case related to the incident.

In November 2023, Balbuena was found guilty of first-degree murder in the Patino-Trejo murder case. He also caused great bodily injury to her mother as he assaulted her with a deadly weapon. The fatal altercation unfolded in February 2020 when Avetisyan arrived at the Simi Valley apartment after being unable to contact her daughter. Confronted with evidence of physical abuse on Patino-Trejo’s face and aware of Balbuena’s previous history of domestic violence, the mother urgently sought to leave with her daughter.

Impeding their escape, the assailant obstructed their path and slashed Avetisyan twice across the face before turning to attack her daughter. Patino-Trejo endured over 30 stab wounds, with prosecutors contending that the actual count was closer to 95. After witnessing her daughter’s tragic demise, Avetisyan fled the scene while heavily bleeding and promptly called 911.

Supervising Senior Deputy District Attorney Melissa Suttner said in a statement, “Zaira Patino-Trejo was such a vibrant young woman with a bright future. We cannot replace her unimaginable loss, but we pursued justice for Zaira and her family. We hope that this sentence brings some small relief to her family, knowing that Euren Balbuena was held accountable for her brutal murder.”

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OpIndia Staff
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