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Woman Convicted of First-Degree Murder for Stabbing Three Daughters

Eds: The trial’s sanity phase is set to begin TOMORROW in Dept. J,

Compton Courthouse, 200 W. Compton Blvd.

COMPTON (CNS) – A woman was convicted today of first-degree murder for

fatally stabbing her three young daughters at their home in an unincorporated

area near Carson last year.

Superior Court Judge Ricardo Ocampo — who heard the case against Carol

Coronado after she waived a jury trial — found the 32-year-old woman guilty of

the May 20, 2014, killings of her daughters, Sophia, 2, Yazmine, 16 months, and

Xenia, 2 months, who were stabbed to death and lined up in order of their ages.

The judge also found true the special circumstance allegation of

multiple murders.

Coronado was acquitted of an attempted murder charge involving her

mother, who found the children’s bodies.

Prosecutors decided earlier not to seek the death penalty against

Coronado, who could face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of

parole if she is found to have been sane at the time of the killings.

Coronado is due back in a Compton courtroom Tuesday for the start of her

trial’s sanity phase, in which the judge will be asked to determine her

mental state at the time of the crimes.

Her trial had been put on hold Nov. 20 following a courtroom outburst by

the defendant that prompted the judge to order her to be evaluated by a court-

appointed psychiatrist.

Coronado yelled, “I need my mother! I need my husband! I need my

children! Right now!’ the Daily Breeze reported.

Coronado was dragged kicking and screaming from the courtroom, according

to the newspaper.

In testimony earlier this month, the woman’s husband, Rodolfo “Rudy”

Coronado, told the judge that his wife was behaving strangely in the days

leading up to the crimes.

Coronado said he began sleeping on the couch three or four days before

the killings “because she had been acting weird throughout the days before.”

“She would just do weird things like go and shut the power off” while

he was watching television and, on one occasion, jumping and landing on his

chest, he said.

He said that his wife “screamed like a weird scream” for no reason

shortly after he woke up the day of the killings, and that he called her mother

to report her behavior.

Rodolfo Coronado testified that he went outside to work on his truck in

an effort to avoid an argument and was later summoned to a McDonald’s

restaurant after his wife said her car had run out of gasoline.

He said he questioned his wife about what she was doing and what was

going through her head.

“They were a little dirty, like I could smell one of the diapers,” the

defendant’s husband said of the children, telling the judge that his wife had

a “blank stare” on her face.

He said that the family returned home and that he later went inside to

inform his wife that he was going to an auto parts store.

“She was laying on the bed,” he said.

Rodolfo Coronado testified that he talked to his wife from the doorway

and told her to get up, but she responded that she was tired.

He noted that the couple’s oldest daughter had feces “all over her,”

and said that he questioned his wife about what was wrong and “what extreme

this is going to get to.”

“I definitely knew something was wrong,” he said. “She didn’t act the

way Carol acts.”

He said he left the home to go to the auto parts store and was back

working under his truck when his mother-in-law came out of the house screaming,

“Don’t go in there. She killed them.”

The woman’s husband said he ran inside the couple’s home, pushed the

bedroom door open and saw his daughters laying on the bed, but he didn’t see

any blood.

Rodolfo Coronado testified that he saw his wife with a knife in her left

hand and that she told him that she loved him before stabbing herself. He

described his wife as having a “blank stare” on her face.

He said he later saw knives lined up on the table that were normally

kept in a cabinet out of their daughters’ reach.

He said he ran outside to get his phone and call 911.

During cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney Emily Spear asked him

to look at a photo of his three daughters while they were alive.

“I don’t want to see it,” he said.

Defense attorney Stephen T. Allen agreed that the defense would

stipulate that the photos were of the couple’s three children.

When asked if he didn’t want his wife prosecuted, he eventually

responded, “I don’t know, I’m confused on that answer. I have mixed emotions

…”

He called his wife “the best woman that I’ve met so far,” and said he

didn’t recall questioning his wife’s parenting abilities when he spoke with

investigators after the crime.

The woman’s husband said he and his wife began arguing after they began

having children and acknowledged that he complained to her about the house

being dirty.