AN ELITE FBI AGENT SHOOTS HIS WIFE AFTER HE SAYS SHE CAME AT HIM WITH A KNIFE - WAS IT SELF-DEFENSE OR MURDER?
"48 Hours Presents" Investigates in "Eliminating the Threat"
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Elite FBI agent Arthur Gonzales shot his estranged wife four times inside their home - that's undeniable. What isn't so clear, however, is how it happened. He says his wife came at him with a knife. He says he fired in self-defense, just like he was trained to do. "Instinctively, I drew my weapon. It was instantaneous. She was trying to kill me. I thought if I didn't shoot, she would kill me," Art Gonzales says. Two murder trials ended in hung juries.
So what unfolded in the Gonzales' home on April 19, 2013? Susan Spencer and 48 HOURS investigate the death of Julie Gonzales and the case against Arthur "Art" Gonzales in "Eliminating The Threat," to be broadcast Saturday, March 19 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
It's a case that digs into the life of a top FBI agent who had achieved a great deal of success. He started out as an agent in California, and later held positions in Texas and New Mexico. In 2010, he received a promotion and began teaching ethics to law enforcement officers at the FBI's Training Academy in Quantico, Va. Despite Art's professional success, the Gonzales' marriage was troubled, and a divorce was pending. The well-respected agent was having an affair with a younger co-worker, Cara Kast, and investigators say he later found out that the woman he was infatuated with was also seeing another FBI agent.
Did the love triangle lead to a jealous rage that ended with a mother being shot dead on a kitchen floor? Or was it kill or be killed for Art Gonzales?
"This was not an issue of a relationship situation," says Gonzales' good friend and retired FBI agent Doug Merel. "It's a case of self-defense. We're federal agents. We don't shoot to kill. We shoot to eliminate a threat."
But friends of Julie Gonzales say what her estranged husband alleges happened that day was far out of character. "None of this makes sense," says Teresa Smith, who was with Julie Gonzales an hour before she died.
Prosecutors suggest Art Gonzales relied on his FBI training to stage the crime scene to cover up a murder. Not so, says his attorney, who maintains the crime scene - and other evidence - backs up the FBI agent's story of self-defense.
Two juries heard the murder case against Arthur Gonzales and both trials ended with hung juries. And then he faced a third trial.
Was Gonzales doing what the FBI taught him, or was it murder?
Spencer and 48 HOURS report the story through interviews with investigators, friends of the Gonzales family and others. 48 HOURS PRESENTS: "Eliminating the Threat" is produced by Taigi Smith and Gail Abbott Zimmerman. Charlotte Fuller is the field producer. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer. David Spungen is the producer-editor. Marlon Disla, Marcus Balsam and Grayce Arlotta-Berner are the editors.
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