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LAPD officer charged with attempted murder of estranged wife

A veteran Los Angeles police officer — who allegedly threatened to kill his estranged wife as he was choking her until she passed out — has been charged with attempted murder, prosecutors said.

Jose Robert Figueroa, 29, was charged Wednesday with three felonies: injury to a spouse, making criminal threats and attempted murder. If convicted of all the crimes, Figueroa could face a life sentence.

The six-year LAPD veteran was being held Thursday in Los Angeles County jail on $2.5-million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 4 and a bail hearing is set for Friday.

In a criminal complaint filed this week, county prosecutors allege Figueroa committed crimes “under circumstances involving domestic violence.”

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Inglewood police Lt. Gabriela Garcia said the attack occurred between 5 p.m and 6 p.m Sunday.

Figueroa went to his estranged wife’s Inglewood apartment and allegedly threatened to kill her while choking her until she passed out, said Ricardo Santiago, a district attorney’s spokesman.

“When she awoke, she was tied up,” he said.

Santiago said the officer performed a choke hold with his arm around his estranged wife’s neck. As a result of her injuries, the woman was hospitalized.

“We are alleging great bodily injuries,” Santiago said.

Figueroa’s estranged wife spoke to KTLA-TV about the allegations Thursday, saying her husband tried to strangle her. She told the television station that she reported the alleged attack to set a strong example for her son, who is 6.

She was able to call authorities after the incident, but Figueroa fled the scene by the time authorities learned about it, police said.

Santiago said the officer turned himself in later that night at LAPD’s Newton station, where he was assigned to work.

Inglewood police investigators formally arrested Figueroa at 1:45 a.m. Monday, and he was booked about 30 minutes later.

According to L.A. County Superior Court records, the couple married in 2006 and have a child. Figueroa filed for divorce in April, citing irreconcilable differences

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said an internal investigation into Figueroa began immediately. Smith said he has been removed from the field and assigned to home pending the outcome of the case.

Figueroa delayed entering a plea in court Wednesday.

richard.winton@latimes.com

kate.mather@latimes.com

Times staff writer Joseph Serna contributed to this report.


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