LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The California Supreme Court refused today to review the case of a woman who fatally stabbed her three young daughters at their home in an unincorporated area of Carson.
Carol Ann Coronado, now 34, is serving three consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole for the May 20, 2014, killings of her daughters. Sophia, 2, Yazmine, 16 months and Xenia, almost 3 months, died from stab wounds to their jugular veins.
In a Feb. 23 ruling that affirmed her conviction, a three-justice panel from the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence of premeditation and deliberation by Coronado.
The appellate court panel cited “overwhelming physical evidence of premeditation and deliberation” and noted that there was “evidence that Coronado planned the attacks by laying out weapons on a kitchen counter, and carefully placing her children on the bed.”
“Evidence that she had used several different weapons during the attacks suggests she had time to reflect as she retrieved each weapon,” the justices found, noting that a bloody cross was drawn on each child’s chest.
The appellate court panel also rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence that she was sane at the time of the crime.
After she waived her right to a jury trial, Compton Superior Court Judge Ricardo Ocampo found Coronado guilty in 2015 of first-degree murder, along with finding true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and determined she was sane at the time of the killings.
Coronado’s lawyer contended that his client was suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis when she killed her children and has no memory of what happened.
Prosecutors countered that there was no evidence that the woman was suffering from psychosis.
Coronado’s husband, Rodolfo, joined her attorney and advocates for women with postpartum depression in asking for his wife to be sent to a state mental hospital instead of state prison, saying she was “out of her mind when it happened.”
During the trial, her husband testified that his wife was behaving strangely in the days leading up to the killings and he “definitely knew something was wrong. She didn’t act the way Carol acts.”
The day of the killings, he left home to go to an 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.”
He said he ran inside, pushed the bedroom door open and saw his daughters laying on the bed, but he didn’t see any blood. He testified that he saw his wife with a knife in her left hand, with a “blank stare” on her face, and that she told him that she loved him before stabbing herself.
At Coronado’s February 2016 sentencing, the judge said he believed that she “needs treatment, but the treatment will have to be in state prison.”