Shelley Malil, an actor best known for playing an electronics-store clerk in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, calmly walked up to his ex-girlfriend Kendra Beebe in her backyard two years ago, leaned in as if to hug her, then stabbed her repeatedly, Beebe testified Tuesday in Malil’s trial for attempted murder.
“I felt a primal, instinctual, animal fear,” Beebe told a jury in Vista, Calif., reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Beebe said Malil had one hand behind his back as he approached. “He said, ‘Kendra, Kendra, Kendra.’ I saw a flash of silver, and he goes bang, bang, bang,” she said, showing the jury how he stabbed her in the torso three times.
Beebe, 38, was stabbed more than 20 times on that night in August 2008. She suffered a punctured lung and other injuries but survived.
Malil, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and residential burglary. He could get 21 years to life in prison if convicted.
Beebe was socializing with another man, a local musician named David Maldonado, at the time of the alleged attack. She said she had broken up with Malil and that he had seemed agitated in the days beforehand.
The actor’s lawyer has said that in dark of the patio, Malil mistakenly thought he was fighting off Maldonado.