Friday, December 11, 2009

Dad convicted in stabbing death of his girlfriend, mother of their two children; 4-year-old son was witness (Santa Rosa, California)

Dad HONORIO PANTALEON has been convicted in the murder of his girlfriend, the mother of their children. This goon stabbed her 68 times, and then stashed her nearly decapitated body in their children's toy box. The 4-year-old son says he saw his dad stab his mom in the stomach, and that dad's clothes were bloody.

Dad's mental health is being played up here, but the case is distressingly similar to the usual domestic violence murder. Mom had been planning to leave him, and Dad took off with the kids after he killed her.

Pantaleon guilty in grisly killing; sanity phase next


Published: Friday, December 11, 2009 at 1:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 at 1:13 p.m.

A Sonoma County jury Friday delivered guilty verdicts on all charges against a Santa Rosa man accused of stabbing his girlfriend 68 times and hiding her body their children's toy box.

Honorio Pantaleon, 32, showed no emotion as the court clerk read the findings that came on the third day of deliberations.

Now, jurors will return Monday to hear additional testimony in the second phase of the trial to determine whether Pantaleon was sane when he killed Patricia Barrales, 26, in their Rincon Valley apartment.

If jurors find he was mentally incompetent, he could be sentenced to a mental institution rather than life in prison without parole. The second phase is expected to run about a week.

“We all know he's not right,” said his brother, Jesus Pantaleon, after the verdict was read. “I think they should help him instead of putting him some place where he will get worse.”

Pantaleon was convicted of killing Barrales on Mother's Day in 2008 in a quarrel over her plans to leave him. The couple had two children, ages 2 and 4, who were believed to be home at the time of the slaying.

Prosecutors charged him with eight counts and multiple enhancements such as torture, the attempted murder of Barrales' mother and child abuse.

At trial, which lasted 17 days, experts testified about Barrales' stab wounds, which included some superficial cuts made while she was still alive. Her head was nearly severed and a kitchen knife protruded from her eye socket.

Additional testimony came from family members on both sides. Pantaleon's oldest son testified through closed circuit TV that he saw his father stab his mother in the stomach and then close the door on the room where her body was later found. The child said his dad emerged with bloody clothes.

Pantaleon was convicted of fleeing with his children to his family's home in Kelseyville and then driving to Ukiah to try to kill Isabel Barrales, his girlfriend's mother. He tried to shoot her with a rifle but the gun would not go off.

The defense conceded throughout the trial that Pantaleon killed Barrales but said he did it because he was suffering mental illness that made him prone to sudden violence.

Mitchell said that in the second phase he would call a psychologist who previously testified that Pantaleon was a paranoid schizophrenic.

Pantaleon was a vineyard worker and three-time deportee who had been in state prison.