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Salvador Garcia-Sanchez Pleads Not Guilty in Wife's Killing

Salvador Garcia-Sanchez allegedly stabbed and killed his wife, Maria Gonzalez, with a butcher's knife last month. But it gets worse: He reportedly committed the crime in front of the couple's children.

Garcia-Sanchez has been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping for the incident. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, AZfamily.com reports.

Garcia-Sanchez got into an argument with 41-year-old Gonzalez at their Phoenix home last month. The fight soon turned violent.

Garcia-Sanchez allegedly dragged Gonzalez by her hair from the master bedroom through the living room to the kitchen, according to Phoenix police. He then reportedly grabbed a butcher's knife and stabbed her twice in the chest.

Gonzalez tried to escape, but collapsed as she made it out of the house. She was taken to a hospital where she later died, authorities said.

The couple had three children together, in addition to Gonzalez's children from a prior relationship. Many of the kids were home during the attack and a few even tried to step in, according to police. No word yet on who will take custody of the children.

Garcia-Sanchez had a stab wound to his chest as well, but authorities think it occurred when he landed on the knife he was holding. He was treated at a nearby hospital and arrested upon release.

Under Arizona law, first-degree murder is a killing that was premeditated, meaning it was thought out or planned. The defense will probably argue that Garcia-Sanchez hadn't planned to kill his wife, but did it in the heat of the moment. However, first-degree murder only requires a moment of reflection.

If convicted, Gonzalez could face life in prison or even the death penalty. The death penalty is often applied in cases where the defendant shows no remorse or has a long history of violent crime.

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