New Mexico Father Beat 5-Year-Old Daughter To Death For Not Doing Homework, Police Say pixabay

A woman in Anaheim who had dreams of becoming a domestic violence counselor ended up dead in the hands of her husband on the Christmas morning of 2011.

After more than 9 years after the death of 26-year-old Za’Zell Preston, a court trial began on March 8 for her husband Wiliam Wallace who had already served jail time for beating his wife in a previous confrontation.

Wallace, 39, allegedly killed his wife after a violent argument on Christmas Eve. The couple had just returned home from a party at a neighbor’s when one neighbor described hearing an argument at the apartment which the couple shared with their newborn son and Preston’s two daughters who were aged three and eight years old at the time.

In an article on The Orange County Register, prosecutors told the court that a neighbor saw Wallace picking up what appeared to be a body out by the apartment gate. Investigators said Wallace told Preston’s family members that “we were drinking and during the argument, I tossed her around a bit.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown told jurors that Preston tried to run but he caught her and brought her back into the apartment.

The next day, on Christmas morning the prosecutor said Wallace dragged his wife’s body from the bedroom to a living room couch. He propped her up on the couch and put sunglasses on her and told the children “Mommy ruined Christmas, she got drunk and ruined Christmas.”

Wallace then had the children open up their presents.

Police found blood throughout the apartment, along with holes punched in walls and a door off of its hinges. Preston was still slumped over on the sofa when paramedics arrived at the home, KTLA5 wrote.

Meanwhile, Wallace’s attorney, Heather Moorhead, denied that her client was responsible for his wife’s death. She told jurors that Preston was drunk at the time and injured herself when she fell into a glass table, shattering it.

Moorhead also said neighbors heard what sounded like an angry Preston yelling at Wallace in an alley behind the apartment complex. The defense attorney said Preston’s older daughter saw her mother trip and fall into a table before Wallace could stop her.

In her client’s defense, Moorhead said Preston’s daughter helped pull the glass out of her mother’s body and clean her wounds. Wallace then moved her into a bathtub, but Preston’s head struck something else in the bathroom on the way.

In Wallace’s statement, he said his wife had suffered a concussion after falling and hitting her head the previous night and had not woken up.

Preston's relatives however told investigators that Wallace was controlling and violent, and allegedly threatened to kill his wife on several occasions. At one point, a relative found a pregnant Preston laying in the fetal position in the street after an alleged beating.

Wallace faces up to 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted of his charges. He has remained behind bars in lieu of a $1 million bail while awaiting trial since his Dec. 25, 2011 arrest.

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