Crime

‘I’m scared he’ll come upstairs and kill me,’ Oceano wife texted friend before death

Humberto Jacobo Chavez, accused of killing his wife in Oceano in August, was in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday.
Humberto Jacobo Chavez, accused of killing his wife in Oceano in August, was in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Minutes after Patricia Jacobo asked her husband to move out of their home, a detective testified Thursday, Jacobo sent a chilling text to a friend: “I’m scared he’ll come upstairs and kill me. LOL.”

Less than two hours later, according to further court testimony, Humberto Jacobo Chavez walked upstairs as his wife and 3-year-old son slept in the same bed. Then he slid his right arm under Jacobo’s head, asked, “How could you do this to me?” and slit her throat.

After a preliminary hearing in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Judge John Trice ruled there was enough evidence to pursue a charge of premeditated murder against Jacobo Chavez, 27, of Oceano.

Jacobo Chavez, who has pleaded not guilty, was arrested in August in what one detective called a murder-attempted suicide.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Neufeld testified that when he arrived at the apartment, a 3-year-old boy came out, his pajamas bloodied. In the upstairs bedroom, he testified, he found Jacobo, 26, on the floor near the bed and her husband partially on top of her, both on their backs.

Daddy killed Mama.

Couple’s 3-year-old son, to his aunt

“He was unconscious, unresponsive, but breathing,” Neufeld said. “There was blood everywhere.”

Under the bed, investigators found a bloody 5-inch serrated knife.

The couple had been married roughly eight years and had two sons together, ages 3 and 5, according to Steven Archibald, a sheriff’s detective. But in 2010, the victim’s sister told investigators, Jacobo Chavez had an affair. When Jacobo found out, she kicked her husband out of the house, and he moved to Mexico for a short time, Archibald testified. For the sake of the children, however, he was later allowed to move back in with his family.

Jacobo’s sister and her young son also lived in the home.

According to prosecution witnesses, the following occurred on the night of Aug. 16, 2015: Jacobo went to a party, and her husband hung out with friends. After they both returned home, shortly after 10:30 p.m., Jacobo told her husband she didn’t want to live with him anymore.

After she demanded that he leave the room, Jacobo Chavez went to a couch downstairs, where their 5-year-old son told him that Jacobo had danced with another man earlier in the evening.

Jacobo Chavez had a text exchange with his wife, then went outside, where he drank two 24-ounce beers. From his car, he grabbed a recently sharpened knife he used as a field worker for Byrd Produce in Guadalupe.

He was unconscious, unresponsive, but breathing. There was blood everywhere.

Deputy Michael Neufeld, describing the bedroom scene

He returned to the house, reread the text exchange with his wife and became jealous of her dancing with another man. Hussein Abbas, another sheriff’s detective, testified that the defendant told him he walked upstairs intending to talk to his wife. Instead, he slit her throat as she slept.

The alleged victim flailed and fell off the bed, the defendant allegedly told Abbas. Meanwhile, the 3-year-old rushed to his aunt’s room and said, “Daddy killed Mama.”

As the aunt headed for the bedroom, Jacobo Chavez allegedly told Abbas, he knelt down next to the bed, slit his own throat and hugged his wife before collapsing and losing consciousness.

Jacobo Chavez still has a scar along his neck, but he survived his injuries. His wife bled to death, the result of a 5-inch-long slice.

Later, investigator’s viewed Jacobo’s texts. Before expressing a concern that she might be killed, she texted her friend, “If I don’t text you back, call the police.”

A little after 11 p.m., while Jacobo was still alive, her friend sent a final text:

“You’re probably asleep.”

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