VISTA, Calif. – The prosecutor in an actor's attempted murder trial told a jury Tuesday that there is a "mountain of evidence" against the man accused of trying to kill his ex girlfriend by repeatedly stabbing her.
In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe told San Diego County jurors that Shelly Malil, who appeared in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," was guilty of attempted murder the moment he picked up a kitchen knife to stab Kendra Beebe in 2008.
Watanabe said Beebe, who was stabbed more than 20 times, should have died from her wounds, and he advised the jury to think of her that way, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Malil, 45, could be sentenced to 21 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and residential burglary. His attorney, Matthew Roberts, is expected to give his closing argument Wednesday morning.
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Malil testified that he had no intention of killing anyone and that he grabbed a knife to defend himself from Beebe's male companion on the backyard patio that night. Malil said he used a different knife moments later to fend off an attack in the side yard of the house.
According to testimony, Malil and Beebe met on an Internet dating site and had an on-again, off-again relationship for about a year. The day before the stabbing, Malil became angry with Beebe and left her and her cousin stranded at an Encinitas beach.
He returned to Beebe's home, took some personal items, and drove back to Los Angeles, according to the testimony.
The next day, Malil showed up at Beebe's house and found Beebe and her friend, David Maldonado, drinking wine on the back patio. Malil walked up and stabbed Beebe with a kitchen knife, which Watanabe said he brought from home.
"He's guilty at that moment of attempted murder," Watanabe said Tuesday. "But he didn't stop there. He did it over and over and over."
The prosecutor said Maldonado grabbed the knife and threw it over a fence before running to his car to get his cell phone. He called 911.
Malil grabbed a second knife from the kitchen and walked to the side yard where he found Beebe. She picked up a garden hoe and swung it, hitting Malil in the head at least once, but he continued to stab her, according to the testimony.
"Why didn't he stop at some point?" Watanabe asked. "Because he had a job to do."
The prosecutor pointed to photos of Beebe's injuries, noting said she had deep wounds to her face, neck, torso and back. Some photos showed rows of staples where doctors had pulled her flesh back together.
Malil played Haziz, a co-worker to comedian Steve Carell's title character, in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."