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Man Stabs Woman, Baby, Self, Police Say

March 10, 2004|Jean-Paul Renaud and David Haldane | Times Staff Writers

A Fullerton man stabbed his live-in girlfriend and their baby daughter multiple times with a butcher knife Tuesday before plunging the blade repeatedly into his own chest, police said.

A neighbor said the man suspected his girlfriend was cheating on him.

Jose Refugio Armas, 23, Odulia Aguilar, 20, and Jocelyn Armas, 1, were taken to local hospitals. Armas and the baby were reported in critical condition and underwent surgery late Tuesday. Aguilar was in serious condition.

"We believe it was the result of a domestic dispute," said Fullerton Police Lt. Danny Becerra. "After he stabbed her, he stabbed the infant in the abdomen and then he stabbed himself."

Aguilar was stabbed three times in the chest, Armas more than twice and the baby suffered a single wound, police said.

Bernie Alcala, a neighbor at the Briarhill Apartments in the 100 block of West Hill Street, said he was at the apartment complex pool about 5 p.m. when he heard children screaming and went to investigate.

He arrived at the family's apartment the same time as police and other relatives, including Armas' mother, who lives nearby. Alcala said all three were lying bloodied in the bedroom with the baby on the bed and the adults on the floor.

Aguilar grabbed his hand and told him, "I know I'm going to die, but take care of my baby."

Another neighbor, 28-year-old Willie Sanchez, said that he frequently played cards with Armas and often heard the couple arguing. "I didn't think they were having problems like this," Sanchez said Tuesday evening as shocked neighbors gathered on their balconies to share the news. "I didn't think he was going to go this far."

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