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Defendant in Canyon Country attempted murder case says he was coming to aid of girlfriend

Posted: July 22, 2013 5:33 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2013 5:33 p.m.

SAN FERNANDO — A disabled Canyon Country man on trial for attempted murder told a jury Monday that he confronted his alleged victim after hobbling to the aid of his girlfriend, who was screaming for help.

Raymundo Soto, 35, wheeled his wheelchair past the nine-woman, three-man jury to the witness stand Monday to testify under cross-examination in San Fernando Superior Court.

He was questioned about the events on Feb. 29, 2012, when he allegedly tried to kill his girlfriend’s estranged husband, Daniel Muir.

Soto testified he went to the aid of Jessica Jackson, Muir’s wife, and was attacked by Muir that night when Muir stopped by the home where Soto and Jackson were living.

Muir and Jackson went into a bedroom to talk, according to previous testimony, and Soto said he responded when he heard Jackson screaming for help.

Soto, who can stand and walk slowly and only with the help of cane, entered the bedroom holding a can of pepper spray, he said.

When he saw Muir pulling Jackson’s hair, he sprayed him with pepper spray, he said.

“I only aimed at his head,” Soto said. “I got the back of his head because he turned his face. I might have gotten some of his face.”

At that point, Muir grabbed a knife off a dresser by the wall, according to Soto.

Deputy District Attorney Nathan Bartos gave Soto a photograph and asked him to circle where Muir grabbed the knife.

“That’s when you punched him in the face,” Bartos said, adding that Soto knocked Muir out momentarily.
Soto said that was correct.

“At that point, he (Muir) went unconscious and fell onto you and you fell on the bed,” Bartos said. Soto said that was correct.

In explaining the punch, Soto said: “I dropped the cane, it was a split-second decision.”

Bartos added: “In order to punch Muir?”

“Yes,” said Soto.

After collapsing on the edge of the bed in the cluttered bedroom, Soto said he felt a sharp pain in his leg and intense pain in his hips due to Muir’s weight on top of him.

“He stabbed me once,” Soto said.

Soto said he reached down to grab the knife after he heard it “clatter to the floor.”

The prosecutor asked him: “You told us you weren’t sure how many times you stabbed Mr. Muir, is that correct?”

“Yes,” said Soto.

“There were multiple holes in the back of the sweater. You stabbed Muir at least four times,” Bartos said.

“From looking at the sweater, that’s obvious,” Soto said. “At the time I had no idea how many times it was.”

The jury was expected to begin their deliberations Tuesday.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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