By Alana Bleimann
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The attempted murder jury trial of Damian Alvarez reconvened Tuesday in San Francisco County Superior Court with Alvarez and his daughter testifying about their experiences with his ex-wife’s toxic physical and verbal abuse.
Assistant Public Defender Martina Avalos called Alvarez, who, alongside a Spanish interpreter, described the almost deadly encounter he had with his ex-wife in early June of this year.
“She was sitting there, and I’m here standing in front of her… quickly she grabs the knife, and I try to grab the knife and she thrusts it forward,” he stated.
In the couple’s home, owned by Alvarez, the ex-wife packed up all of Alvarez’s belongings in boxes, causing the argument to get heated.
“I asked her how she dares to take my things in boxes when it’s not her house,” he explained to the jury.
He said, before grabbing the knife, “she was being very offensive” toward Alvarez, using foul and cruel language. However, it is not clear what specifically this language was, but one statement that Alvarez could recall her saying was “I f***ing sh** all over your mother’s grave.”
As the two tussled back and forth with the knife, Alvarez said he “was just trying to calm her down,” but fell to the ground on his knees.
When asked by PD Avalos if he remembered how and when he fell to his knees, Alvarez stated that he could not remember, even after re-reading the statement he gave to police officers on the night of the incident.
Avalos presented an image of Alvarez with scraped and bruised knees to Judge Brendan Conroy. Alvarez proceeded to pull up his pants over his knees on the stand, shifting his seat toward Judge Conroy, trying to get his attention.
In addition to the bruises on his knees, Alvarez was slapped by his ex-wife as “she started speaking outrageously.”
“I was bleeding from my nose,” Alvarez claimed.
After the ex-wife pulled out the knife, Alvarez, fearing for his life, said he was able to grab ahold of it and run to call the police with his phone that was charging in the bathroom.
When the police arrived, Alvarez “was not in good shape” and claimed he “had a heart attack” a few days prior to this incident.
“Everything went so quickly,” and Alvarez was unable to remember most of the details PD Avalos was asking him to re-tell. One important detail he did recount was his interaction with the police officers outside his home.
Although the officers attempted to communicate in Spanish with Alvarez, no fluent Spanish speaking officers were present, causing Alvarez’s side of the story to go mostly unheard.
“He [the officer] didn’t understand me,” Alvarez told the jury, “they were mixing English and Spanish words together. I was on the verge of fainting, I was trembling.”
After that, Alvarez doesn’t remember much, including his picture being taken at the police station or being put in an orange jumpsuit.
Right after a short court break, Avalos presented another witness to the stand, one of Alvarez’ children, who testified in support of her father, describing the “toxic” abuse she endured with his ex-wife.
“From day one she was outright cruel,” the witness began. At 12 years old, the witness met Alvarez’s ex-wife, and this is when the abuse began.
The ex-wife often lied about the witness’ actions to her father, she said, including allegedly stealing money out of their family’s store cash register.
“She [the ex-wife] wanted to get rid of me,” the witness told the jury and said one time she was even attacked by her father’s ex-wife.
Many years ago as a juvenile, while walking on the street outside their store, the witness said she ran into the ex-wife who shoved her and “attacked” her. Manipulatively, the ex-wife called the police, claiming that the witness was the one who initiated the attack.
The witness was taken to juvenile court and had to write an apology to the ex-wife, but was not charged. This experience was “traumatizing” said the witness, who was then a young girl and now can still remember how scared it made her.
The witness attempted to inform police that there were multiple sets of security cameras inside Alvarez’s house which would have captured the entire incident with the knife. But the witness claims police never followed up with her about this important detail.
The rest of the trial is scheduled to proceed throughout the week.