SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - The suspect accused of killing the wife of a well-known Gilroy doctor back in 2014 has now accepted a plea deal but he still insists he's innocent. Questions remain about whether justice is being served.
Inside the Santa Clara County Main Jail sits 62-year-old David Galvez, accused of killing family friend Doris Knapp back in 2014. In a jailhouse interview with KTVU, he adamantly said he didn't commit murder.
"I'm not a murderer," said Galvez. "I don't have a criminal record. I never owned or possessed a weapon of any kind."
Back in April 2014, at her home on Bristlecone Court in Gilroy, 74-year-old Doris Knapp was found brutally stabbed to death in her upstairs bedroom. Authorities initially charged her husband Dr. German Baldeon for the crime, accusing him of hiring David Galvez to collect more than $440,000 in life insurance.
Prosecutors later dropped those charges against Baldeon after his attorney showed it was Knapp who had taken a bulk of the insurance policies.
Galvez traveled to his native country of Ecuador not thinking he was a suspect. After Baldeon was freed, authorities went looking for Galvez. In December 2014, Galvez voluntarily returned to the United States. KTVU asked why he returned to face murder charges.
"When you have a problem face it," said Galvez. "That's what I did. I came back here to clear my name to clear the name of my family because I did not commit this crime.
As KTVU followed the investigation through the years, more questions emerged. According to a police affidavit, on the day Doris Knapp was murdered, she had called 911 to have her adult son who suffers from schizophrenia be taken away on a psychiatric hold. The affidavit said Knapp's husband had accused their son of killing Doris Knapp.
"He said he killed her," said Galvez. "I said what are you talking about. I was shocked."
KTVU obtained court records showing the adult son previously threatened his mother and his father took a restraining order out against him. However, authorities never saw the son as a suspect, since he had been detained on a mental hold the day of his mother's murder and fire personnel saw Doris Knapp was still alive when the ambulance took him away.
Fast forward three years, bail set at $1 million and three public defenders later, Galvez awaits his day in court.
"I'm not angry but I have patience," said Galvez. "My family and friends are supporting me and giving me that kind of strength."
Last month, according to Galvez's attorney, he accepted a plea deal from the district attorney's office, pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter for seven years. Galvez's attorney said, while Galvez maintains he's innocent, he took the deal because of his age and his health.
"There's an aspect of the case that just doesn't add up. when you look at the sentence received was versus what happened to Doris Knapp," said Legal Analyst Steven Clark.
Clark isn't surprised Galvez, facing a life sentence, took the deal. The district attorney's office likely didn't have enough evidence or witnesses to prove the case within a reasonable doubt.
"It's a compromise resolution for everyone," said Clark. "The person it perhaps it's not doing justice too is Doris Knapp."
Questions remain as to what happened to Doris Knapp and was it justice for David Galvez.
"I did not kill Doris," said Galvez. "I did not kill that woman. I've been a good man all my life. I've been a good father, and a good man and a good friend."
Galvez's attorney said Doris Knapp's husband has remarried and moved to Florida. Her adult son is at a mental health facility in Illinois, accused of assaulting a care giver. As for David Galvez, his sentencing is on May 26.