Friends and neighbors react to fatal stabbing

Posted at: 10/06/2013 10:10 PM | Updated at: 10/06/2013 10:21 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An active member of an Albuquerque mega church is accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death, while their kids watched.

But friends of Jerry Chavez find that hard to believe.

They argue he is a good, Christian man and would never kill anyone.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is praising a 12-year-old boy for calling 911 and being able to give a good description of the offender, which in this case was his own father.

Innocence was lost Saturday night along El Ensueno NW.

Two boys, ages six and 12, witnessed a horrific scene inside their home.

"It's unexplainable,” said Capt. Justin Dunlap with BCSO. “I can't imagine what those kids went through."

BCSO says the boys saw their own father, Jerry Chavez, brutally attack their mother, his estranged wife Sandra Ferrales.

The criminal complaint states Chavez went to the bathroom where Sandra was taking a shower.

She “noticed him and told him, ‘you’re not supposed to be here.’”

BCSO says it does not believe there was a restraining order in place.

The couple’s 12-year-old son called 911 just after 10 p.m. saying his dad came to the house, was dragging him mom around and was stabbing her.

BCSO says they found three knives with blood at the home.

Once inside, deputies found blood in the laundry room, the kitchen and the dining room.

Then they found Ferrales' lifeless body covered in blood with multiple stab wounds to the back.

“Oh my goodness. That's so sad. For the kids,” said next door neighbor Rodolfo Amaya.

“They come and play with my grandson."

Some neighbors though are rallying around Chavez.

"He wasn't a monster that people think that he was,” said a friend and neighbor who says his name is RCT.

Although Chavez has a long rap sheet, they say he has become a good, Christian man.

They say the 48-year-old was an active member at Legacy Church and was even a head usher.

"He used to get his hand and put it on my head and pray over me: God take care of him," said RCT.

Deputies later found Chavez at the railroad tracks near Edith and Montano.

His clothes were bloody; his hands were badly cut up.

As he faces an open count of murder, some say: that’s not the Jerry they know.

"I got nothing but good to say about him,” said RCT.

Asked what he thinks happened, RCT replies, “I have no idea. I'm not a psychologist or a psychiatrist to say what happened but apparently he just lost it."

Sandra Ferrales’ family was understandably not ready to talk, but friends say she was a “good, Christian woman.”

As for a motive, the sheriff’s office says Chavez is not talking.

BCSO says there was a previous domestic violence call involving the couple earlier this year.

The 12-year-old told deputies his father recently asked for a divorce.

The two boys are in CYFD custody and are expected to be released to family on Monday.

The sheriff’s office says it’s not known yet if Chavez was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He is also charged with child abuse and kidnapping because he went to the home, says BCSO.

Chavez will appear in court on Monday.

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