Daniel Perez, the man who last week abducted his four children after his wife's body was found in the trunk of a car in Montebello, was charged Monday with murder and kidnapping, the Associated Press reported.
At his arraignment, Perez pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and four counts of kidnapping, NBC4 reported. Eber Bayona, the attorney for Perez, said his client killed Erica Perez in self-defense after she attacked him with a knife.
After Erica Perez's body was found on December 10, an Amber Alert for was issued for the couple's four missing boys. Daniel Perez, 43, was seen driving with his children in San Diego and led police on a brief chase before a tense standoff with authorities on a freeway overpass. Police shot Perez with a beanbag as he approached the edge of the freeway connector with one his sons following closely behind him. The children were recovered safely and Perez was taken into custody.
Perez is due back in court on January 12 and is being held on $1.4 million bail, according to NBC4.