Woman describes stabbing in Berkeley murder case
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A Berkeley woman said during an Alameda County Superior Court hearing this week that she begged for her life as a nonbinary person allegedly stabbed her during a two-day incident in which another woman was fatally stabbed.
"I'm looking at him begging him to stop, 'Please stop,'" the woman testified in the Monday, November 13 preliminary hearing for Pablo Gomez Jr., 22. Switching to gender-neutral pronouns, she cried as she continued, "They were telling me to stop screaming, and they said 'Everything will be OK, just stop screaming,' and they said, 'It's your time now.'"
Superior Court Judge Tara M. Desautels ordered Gomez Monday to stand trial in the murder of Emilie Juliette Inman, 27, for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. A first-degree robbery count was discharged.
Berkeley police Detective Jesse Grant testified that when he went to the home in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue where Gomez had allegedly stabbed the surviving victim, he saw Inman's body by a backyard bush, "covered quite meticulously with hay." Details of Inman's death weren't addressed Monday morning.
The surviving victim, whose name the Bay Area Reporter isn't publishing, suffered cuts to her hands, neck, and head, among other wounds. She had been friends with Gomez before the alleged attack January 6.
On January 5, the day before she was stabbed, Gomez had been talking about having a Dia de Los Reyes ceremony with their ancestors, the woman said.
That night she and others had been with Gomez at a house where the ceremony was supposed to take place when Gomez, appearing "distressed" and only half dressed, asked people "Is this real?" and ran from the house.
She didn't see Gomez until the next morning. She testified that she gave them a ride while they told her they needed help and said things like "There's a woman in the sky. Do you see her? ... We just need to go to her house."
With little explanation of what was going on, she dropped Gomez off at a house in the 2400 block of Ashby Avenue. She parked her car and walked over to the house, where she said she found Gomez in the backyard holding a large, bloody kitchen knife and "pacing" by "a lot of blood on the ground."
She said when she asked whose blood it was, Gomez, who had some blood on their clothes and was muttering incomprehensibly while looking up at the sky, said, "Don't worry about it."
Gomez again told her they needed her help, and after they refused to give her the knife, she followed them back into a "dimly lit" shed.
When they told her, "You can't tell anyone about this," the woman told Gomez she wouldn't, but they said, "I can't have any uncertainty about this," and started stabbing her.
After the alleged attack ended, Gomez, who the woman believed still had the knife, drove them in her car toward a residential building on the UC Berkeley campus. After Gomez stopped the car, Gomez got out and essentially walked away from her. The victim flagged down a car and someone called 911.
Police in Burbank, California arrested Gomez January 7.
Before the incident started, Gomez had told people that they'd planned to go to Mexico within the next couple of days, the surviving victim said Monday.
Gomez, who's being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, sat silently during Monday's hearing. The next court date is November 27 for arraignment.