A 44-year-old woman accused of killing her husband one year ago in Walnut has been ordered to stand trial in the matter.
The preliminary hearing for Socorro Mora, concluded early Thursday afternoon in Pomona Superior Court, following hours of witness testimony and a slide show of photographic evidence of the crime scene and autopsy of George Mora. Mora, dressed in a blue Los Angeles County Jail jumpsuit and shackled, often leaned over to speak with her attorney Patricia O’Bryan throughout the proceedings.
Mora was arrested Oct. 19, 2011 and charged with murdering her estranged husband George Mora at his Brookside Court home in Walnut. The father of four was found dead from multiple stab wounds minutes after Socorro Mora called the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to report a domestic disturbance at the home.
The defendant was found in the front yard bleeding from her wounds. Besides being charged with fatally stabbing her husband, Mora also is accused of killing one of the family dogs last September and faces a third count of domestic violence related to an alleged incident that also took place around the same time.
Paul Delhauer, a self-employed crime scene reconstruction expert and a retired detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Homicide Bureau answered questions from prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Tanareh Saba during his presentation.
Some family members of victim George Mora shifted uncomfortably in their seats while a few wept quietly as the graphic images flashed across the courtroom screen. One sat hunched over with his head turned away from the screen during Delhauer’s testimony.
Delhauer testified that he had not visited the scene personally in the Mora case. Instead he relied on reports from the Coroner’s office, sheriff’s department, medical reports and interviews that had been forwarded to him for his reconstruction. Autopsy photos of George Mora’s wounds, including the fatal puncture that ended his life, “are consistent with,” someone else doing the stabbing, Delhauer said.
The court also was shown several photographs depicting wounds on Socorro Mora’s body the night of homicide. Socorro Mora had several lacerations to her arms and her left wrist, and other parts of her body that were not consistent with defense wounds, said Delhauer. Socorro’s wounds could have happened inadvertently but were consistent with being self-inflicted, Delhauer said.
The defendant suffered a deep puncture wound that hit her liver and caused internal bleeding, according to medical reports from Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, he explained. Socorro Mora also had a through-and-through knife wound to part of her right forearm. On cross examination, O’Bryan asked Delhauer if, in his several years of experience, self-inflicted wounds are usually as damaging as some of those seen on the defendant.
“Maybe 4 or 5 percent,” Delhauer said. “It’s not a high number.” Shortly after noon, following expert witness testimony, Judge George Genesta held Socorro Mora over for arraignment. Her arraignment hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1. O’Bryan’s request for a bail reduction was refused.