Reporting Andrea Menniti
FRENCH CAMP (CBS13) – A French Camp man accused of killing his wife last Friday night is facing the death penalty.
Dozens of family members showed up in court Tuesday in support of the slain mother.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom as a judge charged 37-year-old Juan Valdez with shooting and killing Gloria Castro — his wife and mother of their three children.
Since Valdez was convicted of murder more than two decades ago when he was just thirteen, his current murder case is eligible for the death penalty.
Investigators say he killed Castro inside the family’s home Friday, which may have happened in front of the couple’s three young children.
Relatives still reeling from the loss are looking forward to justice.
“I hope whatever is found that he did gets his just punishment,” said Candido Montez, Castro’s uncle.
The family is accepting donations to help pay for a funeral and raise the couple’s children, who are now facing the world without their mother and with their father behind bars.
“What’s really keeping the immediate family together is the kids, seeing the kids play. They don’t grasp what’s going on right now,” said Montez.
Valdez did not enter a plea and is expected back in court next week.