BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Bakersfield man, on trial for killing his wife last year, took the stand today in his own defense. Gonzalo Garibay is facing murder charges after he told investigators he killed his wife and hid her body in Ojai, California.
Monday was the second time the courtroom heard Gonzalo Garibay’s voice during the trial. The first was in a video when he was recorded talking with investigators in 2016. On the stand he described the state of his marriage with Rosa Garibay and described again the fight that lead to his wife’s death.
“She slapped me," Gonzalo Garibay said. "And we were still arguing and I was so mad and pissed, I went ahead and slapped her back. And then she punched again, punched again. And then that’s when I just didn’t know what I was doing at the time and I just got her from the neck and pushed her back.”
Garibay's lawyer, Mark Aguilar, then questioned him about what he did after failing to resuscitate Rosa Garibay.
Aguilar said “Did you try to call 9-1-1?”
Gonzalo Garibay said, “Uh, no.”
“Did you have the phone available?” questioned Aguilar.
“Yes I did.” Garibay responded.
Aguilar asked, “Why did you choose not to call 9-1-1?”
Garibay replied, “Um, I was scared. I didn’t know what to do at the time.”
During the description of the fight, Rosa’s sisters became emotional, weeping in the courtroom. On the other side one of Gonzalo’s brother gripped his wife’s hand.
Before Garibay talked about his fight he told the court he didn’t like how his wife spent three months away from him in Mexico and got liposuction and breast enhancements while the two were not intimate.
“I was against that. I told her that you are beautiful the way you are. You don’t need to have none of that,“ said Garibay
Also on the stand Monday was Jason Garibay testifying on his dad’s behalf. While Jason was describing what his home life was like during the last year of his mom’s life, Gonzalo Garibay showed the most emotion of the trial. He buried his head in his arms on the desk in front of him, wiping away tears.
Trial recessed with the prosecution cross examining Garibay. They are scheduled to resume with questioning Tuesday. The lawyers are expecting to deliver closing arguments on Wednesday.