FBI agent charged with second degree murder in wife’s death
An FBI agent from Stafford County who told dispatchers he shot his estranged wife multiple times last month has been charged with second-degree murder.
Stafford resident Arthur “Art” Gonzales, 43, was charged Friday with second degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the April 19th shooting death of Julie Serna Gonzales, 42.
Art Gonzales turned himself in shortly after 6 p.m. Friday and is being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond, said Stafford sheriff’s office spokesman Bill Kennedy.
A special grand jury met Friday and issued the two indictments following an active investigation by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, he said.
Longtime friend Donna Ulibarri–Peralta, who lives in Serna Gonzales’ hometown of Socorro, N.M. near her parents, said the family finally feels like they are getting one step closer to justice.
“We want justice to be done and we feel like it’s getting done now,” she said. “We were getting really frustrated [that it was taking so long.]”
Kennedy said a number of detectives have been working on the case, which started April 19 after a confusing 911 call that erroneously went to New Mexico authorities. That’s where the family lived before moving to Stafford.
During the recorded 911 call, Gonzales, who identified himself as an FBI agent, told the dispatcher to send an ambulance and deputies to his home on Alderwood Drive.
“She just attacked me with a knife and I had to shoot her,” he told the dispatcher, who had problems finding the address he gave her.
An alert went out to the address where it appeared that the call had originated in the 1800 block of Maverick Trail in Las Cruces, N.M.
But after seven deputies, firefighters and medical personnel arrived at that residence, they learned that the actual emergency was nearly 2,000 miles away, said Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Jameson.
“I’m in Virginia. I’m in Virginia,” Gonzales told the dispatcher.
Dispatchers with the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority quickly researched the call and found that the caller used to live at that home, but had moved to Stafford County and took his Voice-over Internet Protocol routers with him.
VoIP routers allow users to connect landline telephones through an Internet service provider.
Jameson said the caller apparently plugged in the router at the Stafford residence, but had not notified the service provider of the move to Virginia, which caused his emergency phone call to be sent to New Mexico.
While still on his home phone with the New Mexico dispatcher, Gonzales used his cell phone to call 911 again.
“My wife just attacked me with a knife and I had to shoot her,” he was recorded telling the Virginia 911 dispatcher. “She cut me on the arm.”
The New Mexico dispatcher was still on the line unaware that he was talking on his cell phone.
Gonzales was also heard vomiting several times during the call while being given instructions on how to do CPR from the Virginia dispatcher.
Stafford deputies responded to Gonzales’ home in the Preserve on Aquia Creek near Ruby around 2:42 p.m. on April 19 for the reported shooting, Kennedy said in a news release.
When deputies arrived, they found his wife suffering from gunshot wounds, he said. She was transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The couple, who have two young sons, had been married for nearly 18 years, but Arthur Gonzales filed for divorce in Stafford County in June 2012.
The boys, ages 10 and 12, are currently staying with their paternal grandparents while their father is in jail, Peralta said.
Art Gonzales, who works as a supervisory special agent—instructor at the bureau’s National Academy at Quantico, gained physical custody of the children but was ordered to pay his wife $2,000 a month in spousal support.