MERCED, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A North Valley family is calling for justice after witnessing the death of 33-year-old Abraham Espinoza on Christmas Eve.

The suspect is his brother-in-law. He plead not guilty in court this week.

“It’s heartbreaking beyond words,” said Lorena Gomez, the victim’s older sister. 

On December 24th, Abraham Espinoza was stabbed to death at a family gathering in Merced. His brother-in-law, Aaron David Barron, has been charged with the murder.

“They saw my brother take his last breath in both of my other brothers’ arms,” said Gomez. 

On Wednesday, Barron plead not guilty. Now the family is speaking out.

“We want justice,” she said. 

Lorena explained it all started as an argument between her sister and Abraham.

“Her husband ended up going into the garage as well and waited for the perfect moment to make his cowardly act.”

As the family continues to process what took place on Christmas Eve, they also remember Abraham as someone who dedicated his life to serving his country and his community.

“Abraham was an air force veteran, he was a firefighter, and he was an ER tech at Kaiser Vallejo. And that was all taken from him.”

Barron is due back at Merced Superior Court on February 8th.

“My brother and my family didn’t deserve any of this.”