COVINA >> A Los Angeles woman was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison after admitting to fatally stabbing her 61-year-old mother at a senior living facility in Covina two years ago.
Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said 44-year-old Athina Sumi Rivera pleaded guilty on Thursday to the second-degree murder of Margaret Yamaguchi.
Ardalani said Rivera also admitted a special allegation that she personally used a deadly weapon, a knife, during the crime.
The fatal stabbing occurred Sept. 7, 2015 at Atria Covina in the 800 block of West San Bernardino Road.
Rivera, who lived in Los Angeles, was staying at her mother’s home for the night, according to Deputy District Attorney Lauren Guber, who prosecuted the case.
Rivera woke up in the middle of the night, retrieved a kitchen knife that she had previously taken from within her mother’s home and hidden and stabbed the victim several times, Guber said.
Yamaguchi was believed to be asleep, “or at least in bed,” when the attack began, she said.
The mother managed to activate a body-worn safety alar she was wearing during the stabbing, drawing facility staff to the room, Guber said.
The staff found Yamaguchi bleeding from multiple stab wounds, and her daughter still in the room. Paramedics pronounced Yamaguchi dead at the scene.
Guber said Rivera, who has a history of mental illness, made no attempt to flee and freely admitted that she had stabbed her mother. The small kitchen knife used in the slaying was found at the scene.
The killer mentioned to specific motive for the killing, but rather a general anger at her mother.
“She indicated when she was interviewed by police after she was arrested that she felt that her mother caused her a lot of pain in her life, and she wanted to cause (her mother) as much pain to her as she had caused,” the prosecutor said.
An autopsy determined Yamaguchi died from “multiple sharp force injuries,” according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records.
Despite a history of mental illness, Guber said there was no doubt she was aware of her actions and the ramifications.
“She was definitely lucid,” Guber said.
Rivera could have faced more than 25 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder, as initially charged.
In considering the totality of the circumstances of the case, however, prosecutors decided to accept a second-degree murder plea proffered by the defense.
The Covina Police Department investigated the slaying.
— Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
ROSEMEAD >> Police arrested a suspect in Rosemead on Friday in connection with the fatal stabbing of two senior citizens at a Chinatown social club on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Detectives tracked down and arrested double-murder suspect Vinh Quok Dao, 37, about 4:30 p.m. in Rosemead, Los Angeles police officials said in a written statement.
The deadly attack took place about 2:40 p.m. on Thursday at the Hop Sing Tong Benevolent Association club at 428 Gin Ling Way, between Broadway Avenue and Hill Street,
Dao had previously been a member of the club, but had just returned to Los Angeles after being estranged for several years, officials said. He entered the club Thursday afternoon and demanded that one of the members, whom he knew, give him $400 to pay for vehicle impound fees.
“When the member refused to cooperate, Dao exhibited a 6-inch, Buck-style knife and attacked him,” according to the statement. “Another member tried to come to the victim’s aid, but Dao also attacked that person.”
Both victims died from their wounds at the scene.
The attacker fled the scene, initiating a manhunt. A bloodhound was brought into join in the search, but the suspect was not found on Thursday.
The attacker left behind a trail of blood, investigators said. It was not initially clear if the suspect himself was wounded, or if the blood was that of the victims.
“Central Homicide Detectives, along with the support of a joint apprehension task force, located Dao in Rosemead, California, around 4:30 p.m. (Friday) afternoon,” the statement said. “He was taken into custody without incident.”
Further details regarding Dao’s apprehension were not available late Friday.
Dao was expected to appear in Los Angeles Superior Court for an arraignment hearing on Tuesday.
The identities of the two victims, both described as club members in their 60s, were not released Friday pending positive identification and notification of their families, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said.
“The victims are both of Chinese descent and longtime members of the club,” according to the LAPD statement. “They spent most of their days at the club playing mahjong and visiting with friends.”
Anyone with information can reach LAPD Detective Tricia Hauck at 213-996-1878, or the LAPD’s 24-hour tip line at 877-527-3247. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
PHOTO via the Associated Press
COVINA >> A man refused to cooperate with deputies after he was found stabbed in a residential neighborhood near Covina early Saturday, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 1:45 a.m. as a stabbing victim spotted wounded in the street in the 4600 block of West Bellbrook Street, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Covina, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bertha Payes said.
Deputies found a man in his late-30s suffering from at least one stab wound to his back, she said. But he would not tell investigators what happened or who stabbed him.
The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Payes said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
TEMPLE CITY >> Prosecutors filed murder and other charges against a Temple City man accused of killing a woman with a Samurai sword and stabbing two other people amid a violent crime spree on Wednesday.
John Ralph Perales, 44, is accused of murder, three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the series of alleged attacks, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. He’s also accused of the special allegation of personal use of weapons during the crimes.
He showed up at the home of 44-year-old neighbor Diane Christine Alarcon in the 6000 block of Temple City Boulevard about noon, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said. A 42-year-old San Gabriel man, described as a friend of Alarcon’s, was also visiting.
“While spending some time there with Alarcon and another male guest, an argument ensued and Perales allegedly struck both Alarcon and the male with a wrench,” according to Ardalani.
Perales then grabbed an ornamental samurai-style sword hanging on the wall at the victim’s home and stabbed both Alarcon and her visitor with it, Corina said. Alarcon died at the scene. The wounded man was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Alarcon’s 10-year-old son was home at the time of the attack, but was unhurt, Corina said.
Perales surrendered to deputies as deputies were searching the neighborhood for him, officials said.
Hours earlier, detectives and prosecutors allege Perales stabbed his ex-girlfriend and her adult son at their home in the 3400 block of Whistler Avenue in El Monte.
He arrived there about 2 a.m., El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said.
“After spending some time there, Perales allegedly crawled on top of his ex-girlfriend as she was sleeping, woke her up and then stabbed her,” Ardalani said. The woman’s 22-year-old son tried to intervene and was also stabbed and injured. An update on the conditions of the mother and son was not available Friday.
Detectives were also investigating Perales in connection with a Rosemead carjacking that occurred in between the two stabbing incidents, however charges had not been filed for that alleged crime.
Perales has a lengthy criminal record including convictions for false imprisonment by violence in 2014; carrying a concealed dirk or dagger in 2011; being a prisoner in possession of a weapon and auto theft in 2001; attempted burglary in 1996; burglary in 1992; and acting as an accessory to a crime after the fact in 1991.
He entered no plea in court on Friday. His arraignment hearing was postponed to Feb. 2 in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Ardalani said. In the meantime, bail has been set at $6.21 million.
If convicted as charged, Perales could face a sentence of life in prison.
PHOTO by Walt Mancini
SOUTH WHITTIER >> A Pico Rivera man received a seven-year prison sentence for fatally stabbing hid ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend during a fight in South Whittier in 2015.
George Delgado, 54, pleaded “no contest” to a charge of voluntary manslaughter on Sept. 14 in for the Sept. 26, 2015, stabbing death of 42-year-old Tyler Duran of San Gabriel, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
The plea was the result of a negotiated plea arrangement, she said. Delgado was initially charged with murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison. He pleaded not guilty to the murder charge in October of 2015.
Friday’s sentence was handed down in the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles Court by Judge Joseph R. Porris.
Duran was at his girlfriend’s home in the 13500 block of Trumball Street, in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, prior to the stabbing, prosectors said in a written statement.
Delgado, the woman’s ex-boyfriend, showed up and confronted the couple, officials said. Duran left, but returned a short time later.
“When Duran came back to the home, he was allegedly faced by Delgado again and the two men got into a fight,” according to the statement. “During the physical struggle, Delgado reportedly stabbed Duran.”
Duran soon succumbed to his wounds at a hospital, officials said.
Delgado fled and was sought as a fugitive for 11 days before he was ultimately captured in Pico Rivera.
PHOTOS: [ABOVE]George Delgado, 54, of Pico Rivera, left, pleaded “no contest” to a manslaughter charge on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, for the fatal stabbing of Tyron Duran, 42, of San Gabriel, right, during a fight in South Whittier on Sept. 26, 2015. (Photos courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the DMV) [BELOW] Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials investigate in the 13500 block of Trumball Street in South Whittier where Tyron Duran, 42, of San Gabriel, left, was fatally stabbed during a fight on Sept. 26, 2015. (Photo by Brian Day)
TEMPLE CITY >> An intruder attacked a woman with a wrench and fatally stabbed with a Samurai sword, also injuring a friend of the victim’s who tried to intervene, before turning himself in to deputies on Wednesday, authorities said.
The deadly attack was first reported about 12:05 p.m. at a duplex in the 6000 block of Temple City Boulevard, between Garibaldi and Woodruff avenues, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials.
Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said the woman, 40, was at home with a friend, described as a 42-year-old San Gabriel man, when the attacker barged in through the unlocked front door.
He attacked the woman with a wrench detectives believed he had brought with him to the home, the lieutenant said.
The killer then grabbed an ornamental Samurai-style sword that was hanging on the wall and used it to continue the attack, Corina said.
“(The friend) sees what’s going on. He tries to stop him,” Corina said. The friend ended up receiving non-life-threatening wounds of his own before the attacker fled from the home. The injured friend was expected to be released from the hospital later Wednesday.
The woman’s 10-year-old son was also inside the home at the time of the attack, but was unhurt, Corina said.
As deputies conducted a search of the neighborhood, the suspect approached deputies and surrendered himself, according to the lieutenant.
The 44-year-old man, who lived nearby, was taken into custody without a struggle. His identity was not available pending booking.
The identity of the woman killed in the attack was also unavailable pending positive identification by coroner’s officials and notification of family members.
The relationship between the suspect and victims was unclear, and the motive in the double-stabbing was yet to be determined, Corina said.
Both the wrench and the sword believed to have been used in the attack were recovered at the scene.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO by Walt Mancini
SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A Santa Fe Springs woman arrested on suspicion of stabbing her father and her father’s girlfriend last week, after which the father died of undetermined causes, is awaiting trial on assault and other charges as coroner’s officials continue investigating what killed the man, officials said.
Janette Buena, 27, pleaded not guilty Dec. 22 to one count of assault with a deadly weapon on her father’s girlfriend, three counts of brandishing a knife at police while resisting arrest and one count of cocaine possession, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
No charge had been filed in connection with the death of her father, identified by coroner’s officials as 63-year-old Manuel Buena.
Manuel Buena suffered an apparently minor stab wound to his hand and declined medical treatment, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said. But minutes later, he collapsed and was rushed to a hospital, where he was ultimately pronounced dead.
Manuel Buena’s officials cause of death is yet to be determined by Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner investigators.
The incident unfolded about 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 20 at a mobile home the three shared in the 8000 block of Sorensen Avenue, according to Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller.
Buena allegedly attacked her father and his 46-year-old girlfriend with at least one large knife, police said in a written statement.
The father’s girlfriend suffered stab wounds to her head, hands and arms, police said. The father suffered a stab wound to his right hand.
Police said the victim’s locked themselves in the bathroom of the mobile home and called 911.
Responding officers encountered Janette Buena at the doorway, still armed with a knife, officials said. She retreated back into the mobile home and tried to force her way in to the bathroom where the two injured victim’s were.
Police fired three bean bag rounds at the suspect, but she refused to drop the knife, according to police. Officers then used a Taser to subdue her and take her into custody. Two 8- to 10-inch-long kitchen knives were recovered at the scene.
Janette Buena suffered a broken wrist during the incident, likely from the bean bag rounds, police added.
Manuel Buena’s girlfriend was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Miller said.
The lieutenant said Manuel Buena declined medical treatment of what appeared to be a relatively minor injury to his hand.
But about 15 minutes later, he collapsed in cardiac arrest, officials said. He soon died at a hospital.
Police initially arrested Janette Buena on suspicion of the murder of her father.
But as Manuel Buena’s cause of death remained unclear, prosecutors charged her only in connection with the stabbing of her father’s girlfriend, as well as brandishing knives at police and possession of cocaine.
According to county booking records, Janette Buena was being held in lieu of $106,500 bail. She is scheduled to appear Friday for a pre-preliminary hearing in the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a 14-year-old boy after he repeatedly stabbed a 72-year-old man in Pasadena on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Pasadena received calls about 3:49 p.m. reporting a person being stabbed on the 1200 block of E. Orange Grove Avenue, Lt. John Luna said. Officers encountered the elderly victim suffering from multiple stab wounds to his torso, back and arms.
The suspect, a 14-year-old boy, fled the location, but was found an hour later at Oakland Avenue and Walnut Street, police said.
“The suspect told a person he was a victim, and that person called the police,” Luna said.
The teen, who was identified by a witness, was arrested for attempted murder and transferred to juvenile hall.
The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of what were ultimately found to be relatively superficial stab wounds and released the same day, Lt. Pete Hettema said.
The teenage suspect, who spent time living elsewhere before recently returning to the Orange Grove Avenue, told police he attacked the man because he recognized him as a man who had peeped on his sister in the past, Hettema said.
Police could not confirm whether the victim had any prior contact with the suspect or his family.
— Sandra Molina and Brian Day
SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A man died of unknown causes after his daughter stabbed both him and his girlfriend at the mobile home all three shared in Santa Fe Springs, police said.
Janette Buena, 27, was booked on suspicion of murder following the 9:45 p.m. incident in the 8000 block of Sorensen Avenue, according to Whittier police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Her father, 63, suffered a minor stab wound to his hand in the incident but initially declined medical treatment, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said.
But about 15 minutes later, the man collapsed in apparent cardiac arrest, officials said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was soon pronounced dead.
The man’s name was not available Wednesday pending notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The man’s girlfriend, a 46-year-old woman, suffered stab wounds to head, arms and hands, Whittier police officials said in a written statement. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
“According to the victims, Buena, for unknown reasons, began to attack her father and his girlfriend,” according to the statement.
The suspect’s father and girlfriend locked themselves in the bathroom of the mobile home and called 911.
Arriving officers encountered Buena at the mobile home’s doorway, officials said. She retreated back into the mobile home and began trying to get into the locked bathroom where the two victims were hiding.
“Whittier Police Officers followed her inside the residence and deployed three bean bag rounds from their shotgun, hitting Buena, but she did not drop the knife,” the statement said. “Officers then used their Taser. Buena fell to the ground long enough for the officers to take her into custody, although she was still resistive.”
Police recovered to large, butcher-style kitchen knives from the scene, Miller said. It was yet to be determined whether one or both knives had been used in the alleged attack.
Based on the victims’ injuries, it appeared the female victim was the primary target of the attack, and the suspect’s father may have been injured while trying to pull a knife away from her, Miller said.
The motive behind the stabbing was unclear.
The investigation now largely hinges on the findings of coroner’s investigators, who are working to determine the man’s specific cause of death.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Buena was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Whittier Police Department’s jail pending her initial court appearance.
SAN GABRIEL >> A man was stabbed, another was beaten and a car was struck by gunfire in a sudden spate of violence blamed on a gang rivalry late Wednesday, officials said.
Police first received reports of a fight involving rival gang members about 1:30 p.m. in the area of Del Mar and Clary avenues, San Gabriel police Lt. Fabian Valdez said.
The combatants had fled by the time officers arrived, the lieutenant said. But officials at nearby San Gabriel Valley Medical Center notified police about an hour-and-a-half later that a man in his 40s had arrived at the emergency room suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Though conscious, the stabbing victim would not cooperate with investigators, Valdez said.
Police were summoned to the same area about 8:20 p.m. after witnesses reported hearing gunshots at San Marino Avenue and Broadway, just around the corner from the scene of the earlier suspected gang fight, according to Valdez.
Again, officers found no suspects or victims at the scene.
A woman reported to police on Thursday morning that her husband had been beaten up by several other men, and her car had been struck by gunfire in incident at San Marino Avenue and Broadway, he said. The woman’s husband suffered cuts and bruises but no serious injuries.
All three victims were in their 40s, officials said.
Investigators believed the violence stemmed from a dispute between two groups of rival gang members.
The stabbing victim is suspected to be affiliated with a local street gang, Valdez said. The victims of the beating and shooting were believed to have ties to a South Los Angeles gang, and the second incident appeared to have been carried out in retaliation for the stabbing hours earlier.
Police are working to assess the situation and determine what resources and tactics may be helpful in preventing further gang violence, Valdez said. “
“The San Gabriel Police Department is currently developing a plan to address this matter,” he said.
Police asked the public to come forward with any relevant information.
Any with information can reach San Gabriel police at 626-308-3838. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.