A 41-year-old man accused of killing his schoolteacher wife is now an inmate at the Merced County Main Jail.
Merced County sheriff's officials confirmed that Rudy Romero was moved from a hospital room on Tuesday to the jail, where he remains in a safety cell under suicide watch.
Romero is accused of stabbing his wife, 44-year-old wife Diane Romero, killing her. The suspect was scheduled to be arraigned in Merced County Superior Court Thursday, but Judge Hugh Flanagan postponed the hearing until 3 p.m. today.
Although there are still many unanswered questions about Diane Romero's death, Deputy District Attorney Bruce Gilbert said the couple's marital problems played a major role in the killing. Gilbert said their relationship was apparently coming to a close. "Sometimes one party can't deal with the fact the relationship is ending," Gilbert said.
Romero is expected to be charged with murder, along with an enhancement for using a deadly weapon. He faces 26 years to life in prison, if convicted.
The victim was found dead with stab wounds Sept. 16 in the pool of her Tioga Court backyard. Rudy Romero also suffered stab wounds and was hospitalized.
Gilbert didn't say whether the suspect's injuries were self-inflicted. When asked about the nature of the wounds, Gilbert said almost all of the cuts were "superficial." Gilbert said the suspect had some puncture wounds, but little bleeding and no organ damage. There was no evidence of defensive wounds, Gilbert said.
Rudy Romero is being held at the jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Diane Romero's funeral was held Thursday at St. Patrick's Church in Merced. She was a teacher at Peterson Elementary School who'd worked for Merced City School District for 18 years.
She is survived by two sons, her mother, Lutie Harris, father, Don Reid, and stepfather, Skip Harris.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.