Just before pronouncing the sentence for the defendant, the judge said, “This is the most horrific case I have ever heard,” recalling evidence that Hugo Ulises Avelino-Medina, 35, of Fairfield, had fatally stabbed his girlfriend 80 times in July 2021.

Judge Carlosa R. Gutierrez, who had accepted a plea deal of second-degree murder on Nov. 28, also said, “That is something that is unheard of,” then added, “The defendant left the victim in the bed in a pool of blood” and fled.

He then sentenced Avelino-Medina to 15 years to life for the crime, plus an additional year for use of a knife, and, once released from prison, to parole for life. Gutierrez also imposed nearly $10,000 in fines and ordered Avelino-Medina to have no contact with the three children he shared with Erika Avelino, 36, of Fairfield, his girlfriend.

Before the Tuesday afternoon sentencing, Gutierrez heard a number of victim impact statements, including one from a woman who called Erika Avelino “a devout and loving mother … tragically taken too soon.”

Deputy District Attorney Shelly Moore, who led the prosecution, noted Avelino-Medina stabbed the mother of his children 80 times and traumatized the family.

Deputy Public Defender Jeannette Garcia, who represented Avelino-Medina, said her client had expressed remorse for what he did “and did not want the family to suffer through a jury trial.”

Through a Spanish language interpreter, Avelino-Medina said, “To all the family, I never wanted this to happen” and that he felt their pain. “It weighs on me,” he added.

“I’m going to pay for what I’ve done,” Avelino-Medina continued as Erika Avelino’s family, friends, relatives and neighbors filled half the public gallery in Department 9 in the Justice Center in Fairfield.

But Gutierrez said, “The court takes great insult” with Avelino-Medina’s actions, noting the defendant was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the stabbing and that he had “a history violence toward the victim.”

At the time Avelino-Medina entered his plea deal, he was facing a preliminary hearing.

At his initial arraignment on the murder allegation, Avelino-Medina also was charged with DUI and a probation violation, with both offenses occurring at the time of his arrest at 2:47 p.m. July 8 in San Rafael, according to jail records.

Events first unfolded around 11 a.m. in Fairfield, when police officers responded to the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue for a report of domestic violence. Upon arrival, they found Avelino’s body.


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