A jury last year found a 34-year-old man guilty of using a sword to decapitate his girlfriend, citing “vengeance” as his motivation. In relation to Karina Castro’s death, Jose Rafael Solano Landaeta was found guilty of first-degree murder with the use of a sword, according to a social media post made by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
At 11:50 a.m. on September 8, 2022, a witness in San Carlos spotted deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and informed them of an assault going on in the area. When deputies got there, they discovered an adult female dead. At the time, according to the sheriff’s office, the suspect “was known to the victim.”
According to the Redwood City Pulse, Landaeta was the father of one of Castro’s two children. With a samurai sword, according to officials, he was “slashing many times, causing the victim’s head to be almost severed.”
Bittersweet Justice for Castro’s Family
According to reports, Landaeta first pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but he later entered a not guilty plea after medical professionals determined he was competent. According to his lawyers, he killed Castro in self-defense because he believed the latter was attempting to stab him. According to Landaeta’s defense lawyer, Landaeta was experiencing a psychotic episode when the murder occurred.
When Landaeta killed Castro, NBC Bay Area reports, he was not taking his medication for schizophrenia.
Landaeta was allegedly upset with Castro because she had accused him of having a sexual relationship with a girl who was underage, and she had threatened to expose him online, according to the prosecution’s testimony in court. It has been reported that Landaeta sent Castro messages with emojis of blood and ninjas.
Redwood City Pulse was informed by Castro’s father, Martin Castro, that the decision is “bittersweet.”
“I am hoping to get some closure and a return to normalcy, or at least make an effort,” he stated. I feel as though a burden has been removed from my shoulders.” Landaeta faces a potential life sentence in prison for his heinous crime.