Man charged with trying to murder wife with chainsaw

An oft-deported man accused of nearly killing his wife with a chainsaw in front of their three young children in Whittier was charged Monday with seven felonies, including attempted murder and aggravated mayhem.

Alejandro Villegas Alvarez, who immigration officials say has been deported from the United States nearly a dozen times, is set to be arraigned sometime this afternoon at the Bellflower courthouse. In addition to the attempted murder and mayhem charges, the 32-year-old defendant faces three counts of child abuse and one count each of driving or taking a vehicle without consent and hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.

The felony complaint also includes allegations of great bodily injury and personal use of a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors plan to ask for bail of nearly $1.4 million, according to the District Attorney's Office.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times that Alvarez is "a serial immigration violator who has been removed from the United States 11 times since 2005.''

The Times reported that Alvarez was convicted on separate drug and drunken driving charges in 2013, and that ICE has requested that local authorities notify immigration officials before Alvarez is released to allow the federal agency to take him into custody.

Whittier police were sent about 3 p.m. last Wednesday to the 7700 block of Milton Avenue on a report of ``an attempted murder stemming from a domestic violence incident,'' according to Whittier police Sgt. John Scoggins.

``When officers arrived, they found a female adult suffering from traumatic physical injuries, believed to have been inflicted by a chainsaw.''

Two of the couple's children, who are between the ages of 5 and 10, were reportedly covered in blood.

The injured woman underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition, Scoggins said last week. A condition update was not immediately available.

The chainsaw allegedly used in the attack was recovered by police.

Alvarez, who allegedly fled in his wife's car, was arrested the day after the attack in Chula Vista by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Prosecutors say he struck another car in Santa Fe Springs and fled the scene of the collision before stealing another vehicle that was idling nearby.

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