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Local News in Brief : Suspect Faces Murder Trial in Wife's Slaying

July 31, 1986

A North Hollywood man accused of shooting his wife as she walked with two of the couple's children on a residential street was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge.

Juan Luis Urraca, 39, survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the head after shooting his 37-year-old wife, Alma, on April 27, according to testimony in the preliminary hearing before San Fernando Municipal Judge Paul I. Metzler.

Urraca's son, Gersan, 14, testified that he was walking in the 5800 block of Whitsett Avenue with his mother and 12-year-old sister when Urraca drove by and asked to speak to his wife. The couple had been separated for two weeks, the boy said.

After his mother refused to speak to Urraca, his father parked his truck, got out and shot her, the boy said.

He testified that he ran a short distance, then turned and saw his father "still shooting her while she was on the ground."

Gordon G. Robb, a Los Angeles Fire Department paramedic, testified that he was driving by when he saw a crowd standing around two fallen bodies. Robb, who said he was not on duty at the time, told the judge that he found the woman dead and the man, later identified as Urraca, wounded but still conscious.

Urraca is believed to be permanently blinded from the gunshot, Deputy Dist. Atty. Carol J. Straughn said.

Urraca's son-in-law, Jack Elisha, testified that Urraca had threatened that, if he found his wife with another man, he would "kill them both and then kill himself."

Urraca is being held in County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Arraignment is set for Aug. 13.

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