Victim: Husband innocent in stabbing
A woman who was allegedly stabbed in the head by her husband Tuesday night told a judge and Mesa County’s top prosecutor that police arrested the wrong man, while claiming she knows the real attacker.
“Jesus is not the one who beat me up ... he’s my husband and I love him,” the woman, who wore multiple scars and a bandage on the left side of her neck and head, told County Court Judge Bruce Raaum during a first court appearance Wednesday.
The Daily Sentinel does not identify alleged victims of domestic violence.
District Attorney Pete Hautzinger suggested Wednesday bond be set relatively high for 40-year-old Jesus Villarruel, “at least until we figure out what’s really going on.”
Villarruel was wearing bloody clothing and declined to speak with officers who arrested him around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the area of 16th Street and North Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit.
The alleged victim in the case told the judge Wednesday she knows her true attacker, a local sex offender who has ties to area gangs. She suggested she was assaulted at her home in a dispute over work the man performed on her mother’s vehicle. She did not elaborate.
“(Jesus) just grabbed my neck and told me to put pressure (on wound to neck),” she said. “He told me he was going looking for the guy.”
A witness who lives at 1715 Glenwood Ave., told police he came home and found the victim, bleeding heavily from the head, walking out a back door of the house and being followed by Villarruel, the affidavit said.
“Jesus said he was ‘out of here’,” the witness told police, who found a large pool of blood in the living room. “(Victim) told him that Jesus had gone off and stabbed her.”
“(Witness) said he did not see anyone else in the house or leaving the house besides Jesus.”
The witness acknowledged he’d been drinking, but still had his faculties. He said the victim had been drinking, as well.
The victim, however, twice told investigating police officers in separate interviews she was stabbed by a man named “Anthony Gallegos,” the affidavit said.
Another witness who lives in the home said Villarruel and the victim were overheard arguing, before the victim was overheard calling police, the affidavit said. Nobody else was in the home, the witness said.
A third witness reported arriving home and finding the victim covered in blood, “saying she had just been stabbed by an unknown male,” the affidavit said.
Raaum on Wednesday issued a protection order prohibiting contact between Villarruel and his wife.
Villarruel was discharged from parole on Sept. 19, according to Katherine Sanguinetti, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections. He had been sentenced in October 2008 to serve three years following a menacing conviction in Mesa County.
Villarruel is being held at the Mesa County Jail on $60,000 cash-only bond.