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Canyon Country man's attempted murder trial underway

Posted: July 19, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 19, 2013 2:00 a.m.

SAN FERNANDO — A Canyon Country man told a jury Thursday that he fought for his life after being stabbed a “few times” by the man he found living with his estranged wife.

Daniel Muir testified Thursday at the attempted murder trial of Raymundo Soto, also of Canyon Country, that he was stabbed on Feb. 29, 2012, after he was released from prison and went to visit his wife.

The wife, Jessica Jackson, was living with Soto, according to Thursday testimony.

Soto’s trial got under way at San Fernando Superior Court Wednesday. Muir, the prosecution’s key witness, took the witness stand after lawyers presented their opening statements.

Soto, who remains in custody and in a wheelchair, was escorted into the courtroom by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

Deputy District Attorney Nathan Bartos asked Muir about the night of the alleged attack: “Did you ever touch the defendant in reaction to what he was doing?”

Muir replied: “When I was trying to save my life.” He added: “I was already stabbed a few times.”

Muir told the court he and his wife became estranged when he was imprisoned for violating conditions of his parole. He was released six months later and found her living with Soto.

Under cross examination, Defense Attorney Michael R. Powell asked Muir if he was upset to learn his wife was living with Soto.

“I had a wide range of emotions,” Muir said.

“It wasn’t a shock,” he said, adding he was in prison when his wife informed him of the living arrangement.

“She told me she had a roommate,” Muir said. “And then she told me he was more than a roommate. I dealt with that for six months.

“I was a little numb to it,” he said.

Upon his release, Muir visited his wife with the purpose of picking up clothes and found her living in a cluttered room he described as a “disaster,” littered with clothes, needles and syringes.

Muir said he and his brother, who accompanied him, tried to persuade Jackson to quit her lifestyle of drug use.

“We were trying to talk to her in the bedroom and there’s needles all over the place.”

“The room was so dirty ... I tried to talk some sense into her,” Muir said.

Jurors were shown a photo of the room.

Muir testified he visited his wife at least one other time prior to the Feb. 29, 2012, incident.

When Powell directed Muir’s attention to the night of the alleged attack, he asked him if he clearly saw Soto.

Muir testified he saw Soto holding a can of pepper spray. “I turned my face after that. ... I did not see him holding a knife.”
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