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FBI agent’s murder trial set

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

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A five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 16 for a local FBI agent charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife at his Stafford County home.

Arthur “Art” Bernard Gonzales, 43, is also charged with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the April 19 shooting death of Julie Serna Gonzales, 42.

A special grand jury met in May and issued the two indictments following an investigation by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. The case will be heard in Stafford Circuit Court.

Stafford Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill 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 because his wife had attacked him with a knife and he had shot her. But the dispatcher had problems finding the address he gave her.

It appeared to dispatchers that Gonzales was calling from a home 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.

The mix-up occurred after Gonzales moved to Stafford County and plugged in his Voice-over Internet Protocol routers, which allow users to connect landline phones through an Internet service provider. The service provider didn’t realize he had moved and routed his emergency call to New Mexico dispatchers.

While still on his home phone with the New Mexico dispatcher, Gonzales used his cellphone 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 cellphone.

Gonzales was also heard vomiting several times during the call while a Virginia dispatcher gave him instructions on how to do CPR.

Stafford deputies responded to Gonzales’ home in the Preserve on Aquia Creek near Ruby around 2:42 p.m. on April 19, 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, ages 10 and 12, had been married for nearly 18 years, but Arthur Gonzales filed for divorce in Stafford County in June 2012.

Arthur Gonzales has been working as a supervisory special agent–instructor at the bureau’s National Academy at Quantico.

He is out on bond.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

 

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