New details revealed in case of Fresno County son accused of murdering mom

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — New details are coming to light in the case of a Fresno County man accused of killing his mother.

30-year-old Jose Juan Mata faces one murder charge after prosecutors say he attacked Maria Elias inside a mobile home south of Fresno in May 2020.

On Tuesday, a homicide detective took the stand, telling the judge about the disturbing evidence authorities found.

“There was a blade found protruding from her chest on the right side,” Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Detective Juan Galindo said.

Galindo said the blade was still in the victim’s body when a coroner examined her, but the handle was broken off. He testified a household appliance was also used in the crime.

“…A small floor fan, and it was – the cord, the extension cord from the fan, was around her neck,” he said.

Mata’s defense attorney pushed back, pressing the detective on witness statements not in his report.

“He didn’t tell you (the) timeframe within which these two males lived with her?” attorney Curtis Sok asked the detective about other facts later.

“I didn’t put it in my report,” Galindo said. “I didn’t review the audio recording. I reviewed my report.”

It is still unclear what led up to the deadly violence.

The victim’s son has pleaded not guilty, and at one point, he said he was not guilty by reason of insanity.

Court records obtained by Action News show Mata has since undergone at least two mental health evaluations.

Now, he may be one ruling away from facing a jury trial.

The judge is still hearing evidence in the case and could decide by Wednesday if prosecutors can proceed with the murder charge.

For news updates, follow Gabe Ferris on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2024 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.