Armando Perez, the admitted murderer and ex-husband of Diana Gonzalez, was in court on Thursday, February 28, for an arraignment hearing.
In August 2012, when the defendant was brought into San Diego Superior Court after being extradited from Mexico City to face felony murder charges, he reportedly shouted to the judge, “I’m guilty, all right. I’m guilty. They’re telling me not to be guilty.”
On February 28, after Perez was brought out to hear his assignment to trial, the alleged member of the Sinaloa drug cartel immediately asked judge Timothy Walsh for a chance to speak. He pointed to a legal pad and said, "I want to read this. It is something pertinent to court."
Judge Walsh denied Perez the opportunity to address the court by saying, “This is not the forum to make a speech. We need to address court issues today."
Perez was not taking no for an answer and began to argue with the judge. The defendant, incarcerated at George F. Bailey Detention Facility while awaiting trial, snapped, "Why don't I have the right to talk? I am not going to hurt no one. I want to be allowed to speak before a group of my peers."
Judge Walsh subsequently ordered the bailiffs and sheriff's deputies to remove Perez from the courtroom for his "lack of cooperation."
Noting the media presence in the courtroom, Judge Walsh made an effort to explain his decision to have Perez ejected, stating that the defendant was told that he could not read his statement but still insisted. The judge said that what Perez wanted to read was three to four pages handwritten on a legal pad and the court did not "have time" for that.
Perez was assigned a trial date for April 29, 2013.
Even though he reportedly laid in wait to kill Gonzalez, prosecutors will not seek the death penalty because of an agreement the San Diego District Attorney’s Office made in order to extradite him from Mexico.