Crime

Oceano man accused of killing wife in attempted murder-suicide changes plea

Humberto Jacobo Chavez, accused of killing his wife in Oceano in August 2015, is shown in court for a preliminary hearing in November 2015.
Humberto Jacobo Chavez, accused of killing his wife in Oceano in August 2015, is shown in court for a preliminary hearing in November 2015. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

An Oceano man accused of slitting his wife’s throat as she slept next to the couple’s 3-year-old son and then attempted to kill himself faces 18 years to life in prison after changing his plea in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

Humberto Jacobo Chavez, 27, initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in the death of 26-year-old Patricia Jacobo in August 2015. At a July 21 pretrial conference, he pleaded no contest to second-degree murder, with an enhancement for using a deadly weapon, as well as felony willful harm to a child likely to cause great bodily injury.

Jacobo Chavez faces a maximum sentence of 18 years to life when he is sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Aug. 18, according to court records.

Early on the morning of Aug. 16, 2015, sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic violence report at a home on the 2100 block of Warner Street.

When they arrived, they found Jacobo dead from knife wounds and Jacobo Chavez suffering from self-inflicted knife wounds.

At a preliminary hearing in November, 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, Neufeld testified, he found Jacobo on the floor near the bed and Jacobo Chavez partially on top of her, both on their backs.

“There was blood everywhere,” Neufeld said.

Under the bed, investigators found a bloody 5-inch serrated knife. Jacobo Chavez spent several weeks in the hospital recovering from his own wounds before appearing in court with a long scar across his neck.

Another sheriff’s deputy testified that the couple had been married for eight years and had two sons together, ages 3 and 5. Jacobo Chavez allegedly had an affair in 2010 and moved to Mexico for a short time after being kicked out of the house but was later allowed to move back in for the sake of the children.

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

A sheriff’s detective testified that on Aug. 16, 2015, Jacobo again told her husband she didn’t want to live with him anymore following a party the two attended. 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 at the party.

Minutes after telling Jacobo Chavez to move out, cellphone records showed, Jacobo sent a text to a friend: “I’m scared he’ll come upstairs and kill me. LOL.” A few minutes later, Jacobo wrote, “If I don’t text you back, call the police.”

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