California man, 39, 'propped up murdered wife's body as kids opened Christmas presents and told them she was DRUNK'
A HUSBAND killed his wife during the holiday season and then propped up her dead body for their children as the tots opened Christmas presents in California.
State prosecutors are finally bringing forward a murder trial against William Wallace after he allegedly killed his wife in 2011 and then told his kids she had gotten drunk and "ruined Christmas."
Wallace, 39, allegedly told his kids that his 26-year-old wife, Za'Zell Preston, had been drinking when they began unwrapping presents Christmas morning in 2011.
Prosecutors this week allege Wallace had killed his wife at their Anaheim home and then propped her up before their shared newborn son and Preston's two daughters, then ages 3 and 8.
"This Christmas story does not have a happy ending, and unfortunately this is not just a story, it is real life," senior deputy district attorney Heather Brown told jurors on Monday.
It's believed that Wallace and Preston had attended a neighbor's Christmas Eve party before Preston's death. A neighbor then told prosecutors they heard the couple fighting after they returned to their home.
At the time of the incident, Wallace allegedly acknowledged they were fighting and told one of Preston's relatives that "we were drinking and during the argument I tossed her around a bit."
Prosecutors say Wallace is alleged to not only have killed her during the argument, but the next morning, he dragged his wife's dead body from the bedroom and into the living room.
Wallace is then believed to have placed her on the couch with sunglasses on, allegedly telling his kids "Mommy ruined Christmas, she got drunk and ruined Christmas."
Although it was unclear who called 911, by the time paramedics arrived, she was already slumped over on the couch.
Police arrived moments later only to find blood throughout the apartment and several holes punched in walls, as well as a door off its hinges.
Wallace was then arrested and has remained in custody for the last nine years on $1 million bail as he awaited trial.
His lawyer instead insists Wallace has been wrongfully incarcerated, saying Preston died from injuries she sustained after she drunkenly tripped and fell onto a glass table.
"Mr. Wallace is being accused of something that is not his fault," Wallace's lawyer Heather Moorhead said.
"You will hear about a relationship that was full of arguing and yelling, but also a lot of love."
Wallace could face anywhere between 25 years to life if convicted of first-degree murder.
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