A man has been accused of strangling his girlfriend in front of their 2-year-old son.
Uriel Leon is accused of killing Melissa Contreras after a heated argument in her car, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. The 24-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murder and felony abuse charges. Surveillance cameras at his parent’s residence where he was staying showed the moments before and after the killing.
The harrowing footage shows Melissa Contreras arriving at the family home around 5:30 pm. Leon is then seen entering the vehicle with their 2-year-old child. During a heated exchange, Leon gets behind Contreras in the backseat and that was when he strangled her with their child in the car, according to a police spokesman.
“The 2-year-old was in the car the entire time and once the defendant positioned himself behind the victim, we believe, he strangled her, killing her at that point.”
The dome light in the car comes up and Melissa is now seen in the passenger’s seat and Leon is driving the car. Leon drives a short distance and is seen walking back with his son. A neighbor found Melissa’s body around 8:30 p.m. Officers later arrested the 24-year-old man at the family home for the death of Contreras.
The couple had been in an on-and-off relationship for over a decade and had two children. However, over the course of several months the relationship was on the verge of crashing again over issues of infidelity. But a friend of Melissa said that was not the case, adding that her friend had finally moved on from Leon and he did not want that.
According to Melissa’s Facebook Page, the 22-year-old woman had three children, two boys and a girl. It was the youngest child that was with her in the car when she was killed. A Go Fund Me page has been opened in support of her family. She is described as an amazing mother and friend. The judge ordered Uriel Leon to be held on a $2 million bail. According to the judge, he wanted to send a no nonsense message about domestic abuse cases. Leon faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, NBC San Diego News is reporting.
This is not the first time that a man will kill a wife in front of the children. Crisanto Bedolla fatally shot his wife of over 40 years at a crowded barbecue with most of their eight children in attendance. Bedolla was sentenced to 50 years in jail. His lawyers had unsuccessfully fought for a manslaughter charge, arguing that the killing was not premeditated. They had argued that Bedolla felt humiliated because his marriage had ended and his wife was already dating another man.
Johntate Thompson also killed his estranged wife in front of her children. The 24-year-old man shot 26-year-old Camille Thompson ten times in front of her two oldest children as she was taking them to school. Thompson had tried to block her at an intersection. The mother-of-four had tried to drive around him, when he got out of the car and opened fire.
The 24-year-old man had gone to her mother’s house to try and patch things up. He was turned away by Camille’s mother. When he left, Camille left the residence with her children for school. Camille’s mother, sensing something was wrong, followed her. She witnessed the shooting first-hand and tried to run over her son-in-law. The 24-year-old man had pointed his gun at her, but refused to fire.
When Camille’s mother rushed to a nearby gas station for help, Johntate returned to his estranged wife’s car and shot her several more times. Police tracked him down after he made a 911 call. He killed himself before police could arrest him.
[Featured Image by Tillson Burg/iStockPhoto]