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Couple to Stand Trial in Mother's Day Slayings : Courts: Man, girlfriend are accused of stabbing his mother and ex-girlfriend at CityWalk. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

August 22, 1995|JULIE TAMAKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A North Hollywood man and his girlfriend were ordered to stand trial Monday on charges that they stabbed the man's mother and a former girlfriend to death at Universal CityWalk on Mother's Day.

Beverly Hills Municipal Judge Elden S. Fox bound over Paul Carasi, 30, and Donna Kay Lee, 44, for trial in the deaths of Carasi's mother, Doris Carasi, and his ex-girlfriend, Sonia Salinas.

"There was more than ample evidence to bind them both over for trial," Deputy Dist. Atty. John Gilligan said after Fox's ruling. "None of the stories they tell are even remotely consistent with any of the physical evidence."

Gilligan said it may be two months after the couple's Sept. 5 arraignment in Santa Monica Superior Court before a decision is made on whether to seek the death penalty against Carasi and Lee, both of whom face the special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders and could soon face an additional allegation of lying in wait and ambushing the women.

Attorneys for Lee and Carasi said they were not surprised by Fox's decision, but said they believe that prosecutors still fall far short of proving their case. Specifically, they pointed out that during the hearing little testimony was given on whose blood was found at the crime scenes.

A California Highway Patrol officer found Lee with a slashed stomach just minutes after the attack near a call box off the Hollywood Freeway near CityWalk. She has maintained that she was stabbed during a robbery attempt after pulling off the freeway because she felt sick.

But earlier in the preliminary hearing, a Highway Patrol officer testified that after Lee was taken by ambulance to a hospital, he and his partner found bloody gloves, a blood-soaked washcloth and other bloodstained evidence just off the freeway where Lee was discovered.

Prosecutors have alleged that Lee--bleeding from a stomach wound she suffered during a violent struggle with Salinas--pulled to the side of the road to dump an array of bloody evidence, then was forced to call authorities for help because she accidentally locked herself out of her car.

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