BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Gonzalo Garibay's been convicted of second degree murder for killing his wife.
It's now up to a jury to decide the fate of a Bakersfield man accused of murdering his wife and hiding her body in Ojai last year. 46-year-old Gonzalo Garibay is facing murder charges for the death of his wife, Rosa Garibay, during a fight in their home in 2014.
Wednesday court recessed with the jurors deliberating. They have four options, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or not guilty. The judge instructed them to only choose one of those four options. And before deliberation, the jury heard the closing comments from both sides today.
The deputy district attorney, Tamara Tuivaiti, opened her closing arguments saying, “Rosa Garibay spent the last moments of her life, fighting for her life. Just as she predicted, at the hands of the defendant.”
The prosecution argued Gonzalo Garibay knew exactly what he was doing when he killed his wife Rosa. The prosecution pointed to the coroner’s testimony that Rosa died from strangulation and had the bone in her thyroid cartilage broke as proof this was not an accident and he thought it was justified.
Tuivaiti argued, “The defendant, even up to the very end, days after, still, even today, still blames Rosa for her own death.”
The defense countered with saying Gonazlo Garibay was provoked by Rosa to act in the heat of passion. Catching her at the motel and the argument they had in their home provoked him to act. But, killing her was not his plan.
Garibay's defense lawyer, Mark Aguilar, said, “This was not a premeditative deliberated murder with intent to kill. I believe it’s a rash act, an impulsive act, something that happened in result of building provocation and happened almost within an instant where he went too far.”
Before closing arguments, while the judge was reading jury instructions, Garibay looked more nervous than any other point in the trial or in the 18 hours he spent with investigators.
The prosecution pushed for first degree and the defense argued for voluntary manslaughter. The jury has since gone home for the evening and will resume deliberations at Thursday morning.