When a man reportedly stabbed his wife to death the night of Christmas Eve, he was in the midst of a diversion program and court-ordered therapy after he was arrested earlier this year for trying force her into sex, and court records strongly suggest he was battling mental illness.
In that same Feb. 13 encounter, 38-year-old Marco Lobato Arrais tried to kick out the windows of a police car, and was placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. According to a police report from that encounter, Arrais told officers he was schizophrenic.
Arrais was arrested again Saturday evening, not long after making a 6:43 p.m. emergency call to report that he stabbed his wife, 35-year-old Juliana Sewruk Trizi Arrais, at their townhouse in the 700 block of North 10th Street.
She was rushed to the hospital, where she died from her injuries. Marco Arrais was quickly taken into police custody, and was later booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of murder. He is being held without bail.
According to her Facebook page, Juliana Arrais originally hailed from São Paulo, Brazil and worked as a finance manager at Apple after earning an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Police said there were no disturbance calls made prior to when the stabbing was reported. The precise motive and circumstances of the killing have not been released by investigators, but the case is being treated as a domestic-violence incident.
When the killing occurred, Marco Arrais was nearing the end of a 16-week “conflict accountability program” and psychological counseling mandated by a judge after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor false imprisonment and misdemeanor vandalism stemming from the Feb. 13 incident.
According to the police report, Juliana Arrais said Marco Arrais, her husband of about five years, demanded oral sex and she refused, and that he physically restrained her in several instances. When she locked herself in a bedroom to call police, he forced his way in and again physically restrained her, and would not let her leave.
Oddly, Marco Arrais reportedly gave officers an erratic and exaggerated account of what happened, including saying he forced oral sex on his wife, claims she did not corroborate in her interviews. He also accused her of performing sex acts on officers at the scene.
Even while “sobbing” in the aftermath of the confrontation, Juliana Arrais was focused on getting help for her husband.
“She did not want the suspect to go to jail,” police wrote in their report. “She wanted him to receive psychiatric help.”
The misdemeanor vandalism charge stems from Marco Arrais kicking the rear windows of the police car where he was held Saturday night before he was booked into jail. The act caused about $400 in damage to the door frame.
The death Saturday marks San Jose’s third domestic violence-related killing of 2016. With 47 homicides, the city has its highest number total in 25 years. There were 53 in 1991, which was more pronounced because the population was about 20 percent smaller.
Since 2011, San Jose has averaged 40 homicides a year, which is at least a quarter more than the average from the previous decade.
This year’s homicide total is all the more striking when compared with 2015, which saw a recent five-year low homicide total of 30. And the homicide profile of 2016 does not have a clear explanation or unifying trend.
Anyone with information about Saturday’s case can contact homicide Detective Sgt. Raul Martinez or Detective Brian Meeker at 408-277-5283 or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP or svcrimestoppers.org.
SOURCE: ROBERT SALONGA
The Mercury News