[UPDATED with DA Charges Shalabh Rastogi:] Jalina George, OC Homicide No. 18: Husband Held for Strangulation Murder
UPDATE, MAY 23, 12:31 P.M.: Irvine's Shalabh Rastogi is being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment in Santa Ana today on charges that he strangled and murdered his wife in the apartment they shared with their three children, prosecutors announced.
The 39-year-old finance worker faces one felony count of murder and a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) statement.
The OCDA claims Rastogi and his 40-year-old wife, Jalina George, were experiencing "marital trouble" leading up to Monday night, when the husband is accused of strangling and murdering her in a bedroom, leaving her body in a closet and dialing 9-1-1.
The Irvine Police Department previously revealed that Rastogi told the dispatcher and responding officers that he killed George during an argument. He was arrested without incident. The couple's children, who were not home at the time, were taken into protective care.
Should Rastogi plead not guilty despite the reported confession, he'll face an uphill battle to achieve his innocence, as the OCDA statement notes that the case has drawn veteran homicide prosecutor Matt Murphy, who seldom loses.
UPDATE, MAY 23, 10:53 A.M.: The county coroner has ruled the death of Jalina George, 40, of Irvine, a homicide. However, despite an autopsy Tuesday, the cause of death has not been released pending the filing of criminal charges.
No weapon was found at the murder scene--a Monte Vista apartment George shared with her husband and three children--and Irvine Police do not believe there is one, says Lt. Julia Engen, the department spokeswoman.
George's 39-year-old husband, Shalabh Rastogi, confessed to the killing and is being held on suspicion of murder, according to a statement from Engen.
The couple's three children are in protective custody.
UPDATE, MAY 22, 12:31 P.M.: On May 8, Jalina George tweeted the following: "If someone doesn't appreciate your presence, maybe you should give them your absence."
She is the mother of three found dead in her Irvine apartment last night after her husband called to say he killed the 40-year-old after an argument.
George had been a senior clinical data manager at Allergan. The Facebook page of her husband, Shalabh Rastogi, confirms that it is him and their three children delivering the video Mother's Day message at the bottom of this page to George in May 2011, around the time she joined the Irvine-based pharmaceutical giant.
Rastogi's Facebook page includes this photo from happier times:
Shalabh Rastogi and Jalina George in 2010.
He has left messages on several motorcycle enthusiast websites, and his Facebook page includes this photo:
Shalabh Rastogi, ready to ride
He is obviously a thrill-seeker, dedicating the following sky dive to his three children:
Here is a photo he would have rather not taken, his booking shot:
|Photos courtesy of Orange County Sheriff's Department|
|Shalabh Rastogi is being held on $1 million bail for murder.|
George's tweets are very cryptic and/or philosophical. Consider the following:
May 4: Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!!
April 25: Made a new blunder today. Tomorrow is another day.
Need to practice to forgive and forget
Today I learned the hard way..It is all good. Made me a better person.
April 8: Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know William Shakespeare
March 12: why am I parked parallel in a vertical world...?
Nov. 9. 2011: What are we doing here?
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 22, 8:59 A.M.: A 39-year-old father of three is in custody after calling police Monday night to say he killed his wife in their Irvine apartment.
Police arrived at the unit on Monte Vista after the 9:40 p.m. call to find a dead 40-year-old woman and to arrest Shalabh Rastogi without incident, according to a statement from Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen.
Engen did not disclose how the mother died, but the police spokeswoman did reveal no weapon was believed to have been used. The couple, who had been married 13 years, reportedly had an argument before her death.
Rastogi, 39, was being held on suspicion of murder in lieu of $1 million bail this morning. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.
His three children, who were not at home when their mother was killed earlier in the day, have been taken into protective custody.
According to Engen, the couple had been living with their children in the apartment for the past eight months.
A Shalabh Rastogi who is the same age as the murder suspect moved to Irvine from Massachusetts. A man by that name also posted a video last year of his three children and himself in Massachusetts while the mother was said to be in California.
They were wishing her a happy Mother's Day.
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