Mother Who Fatally Stabbed Three Daughters Sentenced To Life In Prison

torrance-woman.jpg
Carol Coronado and one of her daughters (Facebook)

A 32-year-old South Bay mother who stabbed her three daughters to death was sentenced to life in prison today without the possibility of parole.

Carol Ann Coronado was sentenced to three consecutive life terms on Monday for brutally killing her daughters, Sophia, 2, Yazmine, 16 months, and Xenia, 2 months, in May of 2014, reports ABC 7. Superior Court Judge Ricardo Ocampo acknowledged that Coronado is in need of mental health therapy, but rejected last-minute pleas that she be sent to a mental health institution instead of prison.

During the trial, defense attorneys argued that Coronado was suffering postpartum depression, but the judge ruled that she was sane at the time of the murders.

Ocampo had found Coronado guilty in November of 2015 of three counts of first-degree murder. In the grisly incident, Coronado used multiple knives to slash the throats of her three daughters in her home in the 1000 block of West 223rd Street in unincorporated Torrance. She also stabbed the 3-month-old and 2-year-old in their hearts, and beat the 16-month-old in the head with a claw hammer. Coronado's mother, Julie Piercey, discovered the mother lying on a bed in a pool of blood with the three daughters. After taking a large butcher knife out of Coronado's hand, Piercy ran outside and brought Coronado's husband, Rudy Coronado, into the room. Coronado then used another knife to stab her own chest, puncturing her lung.

At the sentencing, Rudy Coronado urged Ocampo to reconsider and send Coronado to a mental health institution, saying that she was "out of her mind," according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "She wigged out, your honor," the husband explained. "She wigged out."

Joy Burkhard, founder of a nonprofit called 2020Moms that helps women with postpartum depression, also asked the judge during Monday's proceedings to send Coronado to a hospital rather than prison. "Ms. Coronado was suffering from delusions and, most likely, postpartum psychosis … she needs help," Burkhard said. "We failed her, we failed her family, our health care system failed her, we cannot fail her twice."

Coronado's attorney, Stephen Allen, said that he plans to request a new trial for her, as well as file an appeal on her behalf.