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Officials See Couple's Plot in Slayings at CityWalk : Crime: Evidence includes a victim's blood on the clothing of Paul Carasi, who was arrested Wednesday.

June 23, 1995|JULIE TAMAKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sheriff's investigators said Thursday they now believe that Paul Carasi and his girlfriend Donna Kay Lee plotted to kill Carasi's mother and ex-girlfriend at Universal CityWalk on Mother's Day--and that the evidence against Carasi includes a victim's blood on his clothes.

"It's our belief now that there was some pre-planning and collusion involved," Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Robinson said.

Carasi, who had been arrested and released earlier, was rearrested Wednesday in part because "there was blood on Paul's clothing that conflicted with his story," Robinson said. "It was in a place that it shouldn't have been and it showed that he was more of a combatant than a victim."

Robinson did not say whose blood it is believed to be.

Carasi, 30, and Lee, 44, of North Hollywood have been charged in the slaying of Carasi's mother, Doris Carasi, 61, and his former girlfriend, Sonia Salinas, 29, who were found with their throats cut May 14 atop a CityWalk parking garage.

Just moments after the women were discovered, witnesses said they found Carasi's 2-year-old son by Salinas strapped in a child seat in Carasi's car, according to a crime report filed by sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles Municipal Court. The little boy was screaming, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" as he pointed out the car window, where the bodies lay in pools of blood, the report said.

Carasi told CityWalk guards that he, his mother and Salinas were attacked as they returned to their car after a Mother's Day dinner at the Country Star restaurant on the amusement park's promenade.

Carasi said he cut his hand during a struggle with an unknown male assailant who demanded money and stole his fanny pack as his mother and Salinas screamed for help, according to court records. Carasi also said he pretended to be unconscious and when he got up, the women had been slain. He said he tried to stop the bleeding from their necks, according to court records.

After the attack, one witness described Carasi as being "covered in blood from head to toe," according to the records. "His hands appeared as though he had dipped them in blood, they were so red," the witness said.

A serrated knife, which Carasi later identified as belonging to him, was found on the stairway of the parking garage by witnesses, the documents state.

About 15 minutes after the bodies were found, Lee phoned for help from a call box on the Hollywood Freeway about four miles from CityWalk, where she was found bleeding from cuts to her abdomen and a minor wound to her back.

She told a dispatcher that she had been stabbed by a robber on the freeway.

But according to court records, she later changed her story and admitted during an interview with sheriff's investigators the following day that she was present during the killings.

When asked by investigators whether her fingerprints would be found on a bloody knife found near her sports car beside the freeway, "she said they may be on the knife because she touched [it] when she was defending herself," according to a sheriff's homicide detective.

Lee has declined to discuss the incident further, the reports stated.

The attack on Salinas and Carasi was marked by "overkill," according to the autopsy report filed with court documents. Both women were nearly decapitated in the attack, pathologists said.

One pathologist speculated that the killings were the work of someone who knew the victims because multiple stab wounds in the neck, face, chest and hands indicated there was "a lot of rage involved."

Lee, Salinas and Paul Carasi all worked together at a Bank of America data-processing center in Los Angeles. Carasi and Lee shared an apartment in the same building as Doris Carasi, who was frequently visited there by Salinas and her 2-year-old son, fathered by Paul Carasi.

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