The former UC Davis student accused of stabbing three people near campus pleaded not guilty to murder charges after his arrest on Thursday.
Carlos Dominguez, 21, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, according to a press release from the Yolo County District Attorney.
Dominguez is charged with “wilful, deliberate and premeditated murder” and attempted murder, as well as use of a deadly weapon, according to court documents filed in Yolo County.
He appeared in court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Yolo County Superior Court Judge Daniel Wolk denied Dominguez bail, citing risk to public safety and the risk of flight for the defendant given the seriousness of the alleged crimes.
Dominguez remained expressionless as the judge read the complaint filed Friday by prosecutors. He answered several times in the affirmative to the questions of the judge but did not say the contrary.
If convicted, Dominguez could be sentenced to life without parole or the death penalty, according to the district attorney’s office.
The office will decide whether to pursue the death penalty against Dominguez at a later date, they added.
The victims killed in the stabbings that left the city of Davis in turmoil for nearly a week were David Henry Breaux, 50, and UC Davis student Karim Abou-Najm, 20, said the police. Davis resident Kimberlee Guillory was stabbed and seriously injured.
The first fatal stabbing was reported around 11.20am on April 27, when officers responded to a welfare check request at the city’s Central Park. They found Breaux, who is homeless, bent over a bench with “very significant” stab wounds, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said.
Two days later on Saturday, Abou-Najm died of injuries he sustained in a stab wound near Sycamore Park around 9:14 p.m., Pytel said.
They were both stabbed “several times”, he said.
The third stabbing occurred around 11:36 p.m. Monday. Guillory, who was homeless, had gone to sleep in a tent when someone stabbed the tent, then reached inside and began stabbing her, Pytel said.
After police received more than a dozen calls from people saying they saw a man matching a suspicious description, Dominguez was detained in Sycamore Park on Wednesday and arrested on Thursday.
Dominguez, who was a student at UC Davis until last week, has lived in Davis for the past two years, Pytel said. He enrolled in 2020 and majored in biological sciences, the university said.
Dominguez was in his third year until April 25, “when he was separated for academic reasons,” UC Davis said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed.