Photo Credit: ZUMA Press
Actor Shelley Malil, who is best known for his role as Steve Carell's coworker in the hit 2005 comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin, was convicted of attempted murder on Thursday for stabbing his girlfriend Kendra Beebe more than 20 times.
Malil, 45, testified in his own defense in the San Diego Superior Court. The actor claimed he mistook Beebe for someone else attacking him in the dark. But the jury, composed of seven men and five women, did not buy the story.
Malil had arrived at Beebe's house on Aug. 10, 2008 to find her in her backyard with another man (musician David Maldonado). Prosecutors said at that point Malil had approached Beebe and stabbed her with a steak knife. She suffered serious injuries, but survived the attack.
Testimony from witnesses also brought forth the information that Malil and Beebe were seen having an argument on the beach just one day before the stabbing. Beebe, who met Malil on an online dating site, said her relationship with him was "volatile" and that he was "jealous" and "possessive." Reports claim that Beebe cried loudly when Malil's verdict was read.
Malil's public defender argued that he acted in the heat of passion and that he should be found guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter rather than premeditated attempted murder. While Malil was, in fact, found guilty of attempted murder, the jury found him not guilty on the count of one charge of residential burglary.
He now faces 21 years to life and is set to be sentenced on Nov. 18.
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