Jury Delivers Verdict in Horrifying Daytime Attack on 27-Year-Old Karina Castro
In a shocking case that unfolded on the streets of California, a jury has convicted 34-year-old Jose Solano Landaeta of first-degree murder for beheading his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Karina Castro, with a samurai sword in a daytime attack last September.
The verdict was delivered on Monday, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Castro’s father, Martin Castro, expressed a sense of relief outside the San Mateo courthouse but emphasized that the loss of his daughter was a wound that could not be fully healed. “While I’m glad he’s going to be in prison for as long as humanly possible, my daughter’s still gone. I don’t find a lot of satisfaction out of this, but I’ll take whatever I can get,” he said.
Karina Castro, a mother of two young children, was described as a “selfless” woman who loved her kids deeply. Despite having a restraining order against Landaeta, she continued to contact him, as reported by FOX 2.
Landaeta’s attorney, Robert Cummings, revealed that his client suffers from schizophrenia and experiences frequent psychotic breaks, citing this as a contributing factor to the gruesome crime. Cummings stated, “The victim in this case, God rest her soul, was pushing everybody she could and threatened [Landaeta’s] mother’s life. … That drove him to go over there and commit the act that he’s now convicted [of].”
During the trial, Landaeta pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but he was deemed competent to stand trial. The defendant gave his own testimony, abruptly stopping halfway through, and refused to attend closing arguments.
Cummings portrayed Landaeta as a “working professional” with a kind demeanor but plagued by regular “psychotic breaks.” Landaeta is now facing a sentence of 26 years to life, with eligibility for parole after serving the term.
The heartbreaking case underscores the devastating consequences of mental health challenges and raises questions about the adequacy of the legal system in handling such cases.