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Man suspected of killing girlfriend in Watsonville to go to trial

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV)- Update Feb. 10, 2023, at 5:27 p.m.- A man accused of killing his girlfriend in 2021 will be held to stand trial in her murder, per the Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

Alberto Scalant is accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death at her Clifford avenue apartment in Watsonville back in July of 2021. The 33-year-old was arrested by Mexican authorities days after the murder of Robin Kern, who was a mother of three.

He was held to answer murder charges against him on Thursday. He will be arraigned in court on Feb. 23.

Suspect in Watsonville homicide had history of domestic violence

The most recent findings in the Watsonville homicide investigation have found that the murder of 32-year-old Robin Kern was far from the suspect's first offense. Acquaintances of the man suspected of stabbing his girlfriend to death in a Watsonville apartment are speaking out about his past history of domestic violence.

The suspect has been arrested and charged with the murder of 32-year-old Robin Kern. Authorities say that this is the same individual that was arrested in 2014 on charges of not only domestic violence, but of stalking and criminal threats. In that incident, Alberto Scalant was convicted on every charge except for that of assault.

According to police, he has a criminal history that dates back to 2007, and spent time in prison for domestic violence. They said that at the time of the murder, he was on parole for domestic violence.

Additionally, an anonymous source who claims to have formerly been close to Scalant says that he was arrested in January of 2021 for domestic abuse, and was later put on house arrest. However, the source said it is unclear why or how Scalant was released from jail while still facing parole. For now, Scalant has yet to be transferred to Santa Cruz County, where he will face a judge.

The death of the 32-year-old mother of three marks the second death related to instances of domestic abuse this year. Michelle Pulido of the Watsonville Police Department says it's important for people to know that there are resources in place to help with these circumstances. One of these is Monarch Services, a nonprofit organization in Santa Cruz County.

"There are resources available to help victims of domestic violence," said Pulido. "We partner closely with Monarch Services and they offer amazing resources. They have the help, they have the guidance, and they're available 24/7."

Delphine Burns, communications manager for Monarch Services, says that the organization offers everything from housing to counseling for domestic abuse victims. Team members will even accompany victims to appointments for additional support. Furthermore, Monarch keeps victims' experiences confidential unless they wish to report them to authorities.

"It's hard to navigate on your own, especially when you're going through trauma. So we're just kind of there to offer them a lot of different options," Burns said. "So, if law enforcement and reporting to law enforcement is a part of justice and healing for them, then we will go down that path with them. But if not, then we will explore other avenues."

Anyone who is currently experiencing or knows someone who is experiencing domestic violence is encouraged to call Monarch's 24-hour confidential hotline at 1-888-900-4232. The hotline is equipped with bilingual operators to ensure that all parties can be supported.

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Courtney Aitken


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