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September 24, 2013

Modesto man pleads not guilty in wife’s death

A man accused of stabbing to death his wife a month ago inside their Modesto home pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder Tuesday.

A man accused of stabbing to death his wife a month ago inside their Modesto home pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder Tuesday.

Defendant Jose Fajardo, 32, also denied enhancements added to his charges that claim he committed premeditated murder and used a knife in the attack. The defendant is accused of stabbing his wife, 30-year-old Marlene Rubi Sosa Fajardo.

Fajardo has been in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail since he was arrested on the day of the attack. During Tuesday’s brief hearing, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova set the defendant’s bail at $1.025 million.

The judge scheduled Fajardo to return to court Oct. 30 for a pretrial hearing. The defendant remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

The stabbing occurred about 12:40 a.m. Aug. 28 at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Santa Ana Avenue in Modesto’s airport neighborhood.

Stanislaus County sheriff’s officials have said Fajardo’s brother called 911 to report his brother was attacking his sister-in-law. When deputies arrived, Fajardo surrendered without further incident.

Sheriff’s officials have said the couple’s children, a 9-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl, were home at the time of the attack but did not see it.

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