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Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Mia Gonzales testified during the trial that her husband beat her severely during a midnight argument in the couple’s bedroom
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 27, 2007
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1975
Victim profile: Abel Gonzales, 44 (her husband)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: San Bernardino County, California, USA
Status: A jury acquitted Gonzales of murder on May 11, 2011, but deadlocked on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison on October 28, 2011
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Woman pleads no contest in husband's fatal shooting

Will Bigham - Insidebayarea,com

August 26, 2011

SAN BERNARDINO -- An Ontario woman pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and assault Friday in connection with the 2007 shooting death of her husband.

Mia Gonzales entered her pleas in San Bernardino Superior Court as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that carries an eight-year prison sentence, her attorney said.

Gonzales, 36, is set to be sentenced Oct. 28.

A jury acquitted Gonzales of murder in April, but deadlocked in its deliberations over a lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter.

Gonzales testified during her trial that she shot her husband -- 44-year-old state parole agent Abel Gonzales -- in the midst of an argument on Oct. 27, 2007.

She said that as she and her husband argued in their bedroom, Abel Gonzales restrained her and she retrieved a handgun because she feared for her safety.

She testified that her husband grappled with her for control of the weapon and it inadvertently fired. The bullet entered Abel Gonzales' brain and he died instantly, authorities said.

Mia Gonzales' attorney, Mark Fredrick, said Gonzales chose to plead no contest rather than stand trial a second time because, "She's tired, and wants to put it behind her."

"What she said to me is it's time for people to start healing," Fredrick said.

Because Mia Gonzales has been in custody since the shooting, her eight-year prison sentence will be significantly shortened.

Fredrick estimated that she will be released from prison in about 2-1/2 years.

Abel Gonzales' sister, Sandy Silva, called the outcome of the case "an injustice for my brother," and said she believes Mia Gonzales should have been convicted of murder.

"It's really sad for us," Silva said. "My mother didn't even go because she was so sick over the whole thing. Her heart was hurting her so much, she just couldn't go."


Verdict angers family

By Will Bigham -

May 14, 2011

The sister of Abel Gonzales said last week that she and Gonzales' other relatives are "devastated" by the acquittal on murder charges for his wife, Mia Gonzales, who fatally shot her spouse nearly four years ago at the couple's Ontario home.

"What an outcome for such a good guy," Sandy Silva said of her brother. "He was a good man. He was a good husband, and he was an awesome father."

A jury found Mia Gonzales not guilty Wednesday of first- and second-degree murder in connection with her husband's Oct.27, 2007, shooting death, which she said came amid a violent late-night struggle.

The jury deadlocked on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, with 11 of the 12 jurors believing she should be convicted of the charge.

A juror said Thursday that the panel of nine women and three men spent its last three days of deliberations trying to coax the lone holdout into convicting Mia Gonzales. The deliberations lasted nine days.

"We could have deliberated for the next two weeks and it wouldn't have changed a thing," said Lisa, a 55-year-old teacher's assistant from Rialto who asked that her last name be withheld.

After the jury announced it was deadlocked, a judge declared a mistrial in the case. Prosecutors now have the option of retrying Mia Gonzales for voluntary manslaughter.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Izadi said last week that a decision hasn't been made on whether to retry the case or offer Mia Gonzales a plea agreement.

"There's a lot more discussions that need to happen before we can make that decision," Izadi said.

Izadi said the case is next due in court May 25 for a hearing in which a judge will consider lowering Mia Gonzales' bail, which is currently set at $2 million.

The "bail schedule," which is a list of recommended bail amounts, calls for a bail of $350,000 for voluntary manslaughter with a firearm, Izadi said.

Mia Gonzales testified during her trial in San Bernardino Superior Court that her husband, a 44-year-old state parole agent, was easily angered and often physically abused her.

She testified that the night of the shooting, Abel Gonzales became more violent than ever during an argument over whether to divorce. He shoved her and physically restrained her, she said.

She said she retrieved a revolver, which inadvertently fired as Abel Gonzales restrained her arms. He was shot in the head and died within moments.

Lisa, the juror, said she and many of the other jurors believed Mia Gonzales lied about the circumstances of the shooting.

She said several jurors believed Abel Gonzales' killing might have been a murder, but the panel felt it lacked sufficient evidence to convict Mia Gonzales of the charge.

She called the lone holdout on the jury "unreasonable" in her position.

"I don't feel justice was served in this case," she said. "I just don't. And that's a sad thing."

Sandy Silva said she believes Mia Gonzales, 36, planned for more than a year before killing her husband. She said she believes the shooting was a cold-blooded murder motivated by financial gain.

"The evidence was clear," she said. "The D.A. did a good job. She did an excellent job in presenting the case. It just breaks our hearts that we had to wait 3 1/2 years and 3 1/2 weeks to hear a verdict like this."


Ontario woman acquitted of murder; jury deadlocks on lesser charge

By Will Bigham -

May 11, 2011

SAN BERNARDINO — A jury found an Ontario woman not guilty of murdering her husband today and deadlocked on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, the woman’s attorney said.

Mia Gonzales shot and killed her husband, state parole agent Abel Gonzales, during what she described as a violent argument on Oct. 27, 2007 about the future of the couple’s troubled marriage.

The acquittals on charges of first- and second-degree murder leave voluntary manslaughter as the only active charge against Mia Gonzales. Paired with a “special allegation” of using a firearm, it carries a maximum prison sentence of 21 years.

Mia Gonzales will also have her bail reduced as a result of the verdicts, said her attorney, Mark Fredrick. Gonzales has been jailed since the shooting in lieu of $2 million bail.

The jury of nine women and three men was split 11-1 in favor of a guilty verdict for voluntary manslaughter, Frederick said.

Mia Gonzales, 36, testified during the trial in San Bernardino Superior Court that her husband beat her severely during a midnight argument in the couple’s bedroom in the 1900 block of South Almond Street.

Abel Gonzales became enraged when his wife asked whether the couple should seek a divorce, Mia Gonzales testified.

She said her suggestion of divorce came after several months of physical abuse from her husband.

In order to protect herself and her daughters — who were in the home at the time — Mia Gonzales said she retrieved a revolver during the argument from a cabinet in the bedroom. She said she never intended to hurt her husband.

The couple struggled over the weapon and it inadvertently fired, Mia Gonzales testified. A bullet entered Abel Gonzales’ brain and killed him within seconds.

A prosecutor argued during the trial that Mia Gonzales lied about the circumstances of the shooting and fabricated allegations that she was abused by Abel Gonzales, 44.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Izadi portrayed the wife as the aggressor in the incident, and said Mia Gonzales was upset over her husband’s infidelity.

Izadi did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Fredrick said Mia Gonzales was relieved that she was acquitted of murder and cried when the verdicts were returned this afternoon.

Fredrick said jurors told him after the hearing that they believed Mia Gonzales’ testimony that her husband’s shooting was accidental. But they questioned her decision to retrieve a revolver, he said.

“The felt there were other options available to her besides getting the gun,” he said.

The jury reached its verdicts after nine days of deliberations, which followed six days of witness testimony and arguments from attorneys.



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