A 32-year-old woman was found guilty Nov. 30 of fatally stabbing her three young daughters at their home near Carson, California, on May 20, 2014.
Superior Court Judge Ricardo Ocampo ruled that Carol Coronado was also guilty of the charge of special circumstances for committing multiple murders, the Daily Breeze reported.
Coronado stabbed and killed Sophia, 2, Yazmine, 16 months and Xenia, 2 months.
The trial will now move to its second phase, where Carol’s sanity at the time of the attack will be determined.
Prosecutor Emily Spear argues the three murders were premeditated, and that the mother should face life imprisonment without the prospect of parole.
“She has a clear motive,” Spear reportedly said in court. “She hurt [her husband] the only way she can. She takes out his children.”
In addition to the three first degree murder charges, the prosecution also charged Carol with attempting to kill her mother.
Rudolfo Coronado, Carol’s husband, found Several knives laid out in the kitchen on the day of the crime.
“She intended to take out her entire family,” Spear added. “She arranged the knives in an overall plot to take out Rudy.”
Defense attorney Stephen Allen says Carol was suffering from mental health problems at the time of the crime.
“She truly needed help and no one was there to help her,” Allen said.
If Ocampo rules Carol was not sane, she would likely be sentenced to time in a mental health institution with the possibility of being released at a future date.
“She lost her mind. She lost her mind,” Rudolfo said outside the court. “It tears me apart because it’s my little girls that I lost. I lost my whole family, my three little girls. And Carol, she didn’t mean to do that. I strongly believe that.”
Earlier in the trial, Rudolfo testified that he'd noticed his wife’s behavior change in the days leading up to the day of the murders.
He told Ocampo that he had begun sleeping on the couch several days earlier because she was acting strangely, doing things like shutting off the power while he watched television, or jumping and landing on Rudolfo's chest, My News LA reported.
On the day the children were stabbed, Carol “screamed like a weird scream,” he said. This prompted Rudolfo to call Carol’s mother.
He said that his wife had a “blank stare” on her face, and that the children had not been changed. “They were a little dirty, like I could smell one of the diapers,” he said, according to My News LA.
He later noticed that their oldest daughter was covered in feces.
“I definitely knew something was wrong,” he added. “She didn’t act the way Carol acts.”
The second stage of the trial commenced Dec. 1, where Rudolfo provided more testimony.