California court plunges into chaos when stepdad lunges at stepdaughter’s convicted killer

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A convicted killer was allegedly lunged at and punched in a California courtroom during his sentencing for stabbing his girlfriend to death nearly four years ago.

Euren Balbuena, 33, was sentenced to 33 years to life in prison for killing his girlfriend, 31-year-old Zaira Patino-Trejo, Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced in a Thursday press release.

According to the Ventura Star, citing Joey Buttitta, a spokesperson for the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, a “brief altercation” happened as the emotional victim impact statements were being read in court.

Buttita said that Patino-Trejo’s stepfather lunged at the convicted killer and landed “at least” one punch.

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Euren Balbuena was sentenced to 33 years to life in prison for three felony convictions, including the 2020 murder of 31-year-old Zaira Patino-Trejo. (Ventura County District Attorney’s Office)

Euren Balbuena

Zaira Patino-Trejo’s stepfather allegedly lunged at Euren Balbuena during the victim impact statement. (Ventura County District Attorney’s Office)

Authorities said that the unexpected attack came while the victim’s mother was giving a heartfelt statement.

Photos released by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office showed Balbuena’s reaction from the attack.

The stepfather was removed from the courtroom following the attack, the local outlet said.

Euren Balbuena

Balbuena was convicted by a jury on Nov. 21 of last year of murder in the first degree, battery causing great bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon against Patino-Trejo’s mother. (Ventura County District Attorney’s Office)

The district attorney said that Balbuena was sentenced following a brutal attack on February 27, 2020.

Officials said the 33-year-old and Patino-Trejo were in the middle of an argument inside their Simi Valley, California apartment when the victim’s mother arrived at the couple’s shared Simi Valley, California apartment.

When Patino-Trejo noticed “signs of more abuse” on her daughter’s face, she attempted to leave with her but Balbuena would not let her out of the apartment.

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Authorities said that Balbuena grabbed a kitchen knife and started swinging it at the victim’s mother. Police said that he successfully slashed her twice in the head before turning and stabbing Patino-Trejo.

Euren Balbuena

The victim’s mother, who was also stabbed twice during the attack, was reading her impact statement when her husband, the victim’s stepfather, lunged at Euren Balbuena. (Ventura County District Attorney’s Office)

Authorities said that Balbuena stabbed his girlfriend, Patino-Trejo, “more than 30 times” with “several knives.”

Patino-Trejo’s mother managed to escape the apartment and contacted a bystander who called local police offices.

Balbuena was arrested by police and convicted by a jury on November 21, 2023, of the first-degree murder of Patino-Trejo, battery causing great bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon against her mother, the DA said.

Euren Balbuena mugshot

Euren Balbuena was sentenced for 33-years in person following the killing of his girlfiend (Simi Valley Police Department)

Following Balbuena’s sentencing, Supervising Senior Deputy District Attorney Melissa Suttner said in a statement that they “pursued justice” for the victim’s family.

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“Zaira Patino-Trejo was such a vibrant young woman with a bright future,”Suttner said. “We cannot replace her unimaginable loss, but we pursued justice for Zaira and her family. We hope that this sentence brings some small relief to her family, knowing that Euren Balbuena was held accountable for her brutal murder.” 

Ventura County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

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