Defendant William Wallace, 39, was convicted of second-degree murder more than nine years after the death of his wife, 26-year-old Za’Zell Preston, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Wallace is scheduled to be sentenced in June and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Authorities say he used blunt force trauma to the head of Preston to render her unconscious sometime between Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, 2011, the district attorney’s office said. The victim’s daughters from a previous relationship, ages 3 y 8, and the couple’s 7-week-old son were in the apartment at the time, prosecutors said.
“A young mother finally losing her life after years of violence at the hands of her husband is a heart-wrenching tragedy,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer dijo en un comunicado. “That heartbreak is only exacerbated by the fact that her children witnessed much of the violence and were forced to celebrate Christmas in the presence of their dead mother. That is not a Christmas memory any child should be forced to have.”