A man who fatally stabbed his 31-year-old wife during an attack at their Moreno Valley apartment was convicted Monday of first- degree murder.
A Riverside jury deliberated one day before finding 38-year-old Jose Alexander Rivas guilty of the murder count, as well as a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a knife in the commission of a felony for the 2018 slaying of Dixie Annabelle Rivas.
Closing statements in the nearly three-week trial concluded Wednesday, and Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mac Fisher ordered jurors to return to the Riverside Hall of Justice Monday morning to begin deliberations.
Fisher scheduled a sentencing hearing for Thursday. Rivas, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, is expected to receive 26 years to life in state prison.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche, deputies were called to the apartment at the intersection of JFK Drive and Perris Boulevard about 4:30 a.m. on March 19, 2018, to investigate reports of an assault.
Deputies found Dixie Rivas inside the residence, suffering from stab wounds to the upper body, Brosche said.
The mother of three died at the scene. A motive for the attack was unclear.
Brosche said the defendant was at the location and questioned by homicide detectives, after which he was taken into custody without a struggle.
Rivas had no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.