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Hanford car wash murder preliminary hearing

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A preliminary hearing got underway Wednesday in the July 2011 murder of Denise McVay. The 49 year old nurse was brutally stabbed and slashed to death after stopping at a car wash in Hanford. Jose Saldana, 17, is the suspect in the brutal murder.

The victim's mother was among the family members who heard the horrible story of McVays death.

The key witness in the case, 18 year old Mauricio Ortiz, testified Saldana came to his home they day of the murder, his clothes covered in dried blood and told him he had money and a car and wanted to go shopping. He testified they went to the Visalia Mall in the dead woman's car where Saldana bought new clothes and changed in a dressing room.

He testified Saldana admitted to stabbing a woman and showed him the knife he used. Ortiz testified Saldana told him he saw the 49 year old woman at a Hanford car wash at around 4:30 in the morning. He testified Saldana told him he flipped a coin, tails she would live, heads she would die. Ortiz testified Saldana told him he stabbed the woman from behind, then demanded money. He said Saldana told him the woman said she didn't have any money, but he became angry after finding $300 on her. Ortiz said Saldana told him he continued stabbing her, and slashed her throat because she wouldn't stop screaming.

A Hanford Police Detective testified McVay was stabbed 64 times. Her throat had been repeatedly slashed. Saldana listened without showing any emotion.

Saldana and Ortiz were arrested after ditching the woman's car at the Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore. A security guard there notified police when he saw McVay's vehicle, which police had reported as stolen.

Ortiz has been charged as an accessory after the fact in the case and testified he had not been offered a deal in exchange for his testimony.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to continue in Kings County Superior Court in Hanford on Thursday.

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Tags:
crimetracker, stabbing, murder, court, kings county, hanford, lemoore, local, gene haagenson
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