Jeffrey A. Tenenbaum, pictured on the right, attorney for Rudolfo Romero who pleaded not guilty
in the stabbing of his wife school teacher Diane Romero, during his arraignment
Thursday, September 30, 2010 morning in Merced County Superior Courtroom
two with Superior Court Judge Marc Garcia presiding. Photo: MARCI STENBERG
— Merced Sun-Star.
MERCED - In his first public appearance since the killing of his school-
teacher wife, Rudy Romero pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder in
a Merced County Superior Court room Thursday morning.
The 41-year-old Romero was found injured in his family’s Tioga Court
backyard on Sept. 16. The body of his wife, Diane Romero, a 44-year-old
teacher at Peterson Elementary School, was found in the backyard in the
family’s pool. She had been stabbed numerous times.
Romero was taken to a local hospital to have his wounds treated on the
same morning his wife’s body was discovered.
Rudolfo Romero pleaded not guilty in the stabbing of his wife, teacher
Diane Romero, during his arraignment Thursday morning in the Merced County
Superior Courtroom of Judge Marc Garcia.
Jeffrey Tenenbaum, right, is the attorney representing Romero.
Romero, who drove school buses for a living, was arrested by Merced police
on Sept. 20.
Thursday’s arraignment was the third that had been scheduled for Romero.
The case’s prosecutor had little to say early in the case. “My
thoughts go out to the family and the community,” said Deputy District
Attorney Rob Carroll. “We just want to make sure justice is done.”
Rudy Romero’s private lawyer, Jeffrey Tenenbaum, also declined to
comment, since he said he had just begun reviewing the case’s documents.
Dressed in a white- and orange-striped jumpsuit and bound in shackles,
Romero stood in the courtroom for less than five minutes as the charges
were read against him. Romero mostly conferred with his lawyer and didn’t
look toward the gallery where more than 19 people watched the proceedings.
The only word that came from Romero’s mouth was a muted “yes”
after the judge asked him to verify that he had indeed heard and understood
the charges against him.
Those charges were murder with an enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon.
Members of Rudy Romero’s family watched Romero enter the courtroom,
but had nothing to say about the case.
Judge Marc Garcia scheduled a pre-preliminary hearing in the case for Oct.
25 in Courtroom 2 at 10 a.m.
If convicted Romero faces 26 years to life in prison.