Convicted Simi Valley man sentenced to 33 years to life for fatally stabbing girlfriend in front of her mother

SIMI VALLEY, California – A man from Simi Valley has been sentenced to 33 years to life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend after stabbing her over 30 times and assaulting her mother. Euren Balbuena, 33, was convicted of three felony charges, including the murder of his girlfriend, Zaira Patino-Trejo, 31. The incident occurred on Feb. 27, 2020, when an argument escalated into a violent altercation inside the couple’s apartment in Simi Valley.

The victim’s mother, aware of the history of domestic violence in the relationship, intervened, only to find signs of abuse on her daughter’s face. When she attempted to leave with her daughter, Balbuena prevented them from leaving the apartment, then proceeded to attack the mother and fatally stab Patino-Trejo. The mother, bleeding heavily, sought help from a passerby, informing them of her daughter’s death. Simi Valley Police officers arrived at the scene, where they arrested Balbuena.

Balbuena was convicted by a jury on Nov. 21, 2023, of first-degree murder, battery causing great bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon against Patino-Trejo’s mother. The jury also found two special allegations to be true — that Balbuena personally used a knife in the killing and caused great bodily injury in the commission of a felony. Melissa Suttner, Supervising Senior Deputy District Attorney, expressed that justice had been pursued for the victim and her family, despite being unable to replace the unimaginable loss. She hoped that the sentence would provide some small relief to the family.

The brutal and tragic outcome of domestic violence continues to be a pressing issue that affects numerous families across the United States. It serves as a reminder of the critical need for effective intervention and prevention measures to address domestic violence. The devastating impact of such incidents on the victims and their families underscores the urgency of ongoing efforts to address and mitigate the effects of domestic violence in our communities.