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The attempted murder trial of actor Shelley Malil began this week. On Tuesday, August 31, the victim who survived an alleged stabbing by the defendant testified. Kendra Beebe told the court she was stabbed 23 times by the actor, who was her on and off boyfriend, on the evening of August 10, 2008. A friend who was visiting helped fend off the attack.
Malil, who is best known for his part in the Steve Carell film "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin," is accused of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, according to NBC San Diego. Beebe testified that Malil arrived at her house uninvited on the evening of the attack, and approached her saying her name multiple times. He leaned in and began stabbing her.
When Beebe's friend, Spanish Flamenco singer and guitarist David Maldonado, realized she was being attacked, he grabbed the knife, threw it over the fence and ran to call 911. He also testified he never actually saw Malil stab Beebe. Malil grabbed a second knife from the kitchen and renewed the attack. Beebe was saved when a neighbor intervened. According to investigators, Malil stopped the attack and walked calmly away from the scene.
There was also testimony that naked pictures of Malil and Beebe having sex were sent to Beebe's workplace the day before the attack. A witness said the faces were obscured, but she felt the pictures were of Kendra Beebe.
The Associated Press reports the defense has told the jury Malil acted in self-defense after Beebe hit him with a garden hoe. According to another report, attorneys for the defense have said that, in the dark, Malil thought he was fighting off an attack by Maldonado. Both of these potential defenses as reported would be difficult to prove. If it is shown Malil sent the pictures to Beebe's work in an effort to harm her, questions of premeditation are likely to arise. Further, the secondary attack on Beebe with the kitchen knife, and the fact Malil called Kendra Beebe's name, may discredit claims of mistaken identity.
According to NBC, prosecutors say Shelley Malil could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.