Levit Chavez Jr was found guilty today for the May 2009 stabbing death of his father and the attempted murder of his stepmother -- a crime that was witnessed by his 8-year-old brother.
The brother, who is now 12, testified that he heard his older sibling arguing with their stepmother in another room of the house; after hearing "screams of pain," their father, Levit Chavez Sr., intervened. Chavez Jr., 29, stabbed him 15 times in the chest, neck, and eye, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Afterward, Chavez Jr. turned the knife on his stepmother, Nelsy D. Flores, stabbing her multiple times in the face, stomach and leg.
"A man lost his life defending the woman he loved," District Attorney George Gascón said in statement released today. "The fact that his death came at the hands of his own son makes this incident truly disheartening."
Chavez Jr.'s attorney, V. Roy Lefcourt said that the defendant had a loving relationship with his father, no history of violence, and no previous arrest record. "The verdict is a tragedy," Lefcourt said.
According to the defense, Chavez Jr. was in the bathroom when he heard screams stemming from argument between his father and stepmother. His attorney argued that his stepmother had just found out that his father was going to leave her for another woman and go back to Mexico. When Chavez Jr. went to see about the commotion, he found his father covered in blood.
"He then reacted," said Lefcourt, referring to his client, "and there was an explosion of emotions."
Chavez Sr., a 49-year-old maintenance worker for Muni, was pronounced dead at the scene. Flores was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she underwent surgery for her stab wounds. She survived the attack.
Chavez Jr. was arrested a few blocks from the murder scene at a Bayview Walgreens.
After a month-long trial, the jury deliberated for two days and found Chavez Jr. guilty of second degree murder, premeditated and attempted murder. Chavez Jr. faces 27 years to life in prison. He will be sentenced on Nov. 19.