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Woman guilty of killing mother, putting body in Newport Harbor

Rachael Mullenix cries loudly as jury's verdict is read. Her former boyfriend awaits trial in the 2006 slaying.

July 18, 2008|Christine Hanley | Times Staff Writer

Shaking and sobbing loudly as the verdict was read, a Huntington Beach woman was convicted Thursday of killing her mother and dumping the body in Newport Harbor in a crime she blamed on her former boyfriend.

Rachael Mullenix, 19, buried her head in her hands on the defense table as a judge polled the jury of seven men and five women. They deliberated about 2 1/2 days before finding her guilty of murder in the death of Barbara Mullenix, 56.

Rachael Mullenix's boyfriend at the time of the slaying, Ian Allen, 23, of Huntington Beach, is awaiting trial on murder charges.

Mullenix's grandmother and grandfather broke into tears as the verdict was read.

"I love you," the grandfather said, breaking the momentary silence that filled the courtroom after the judge summoned Mullenix's attorney and the prosecutor to his chambers for unknown reasons.

Mullenix never looked back to see her family before being led away in handcuffs. "She's innocent," her grandmother said on her way out of court.

Barbara Mullenix was stabbed more than 50 times and wrapped in a blanket before being dumped off a dock near the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in September 2006.

At the time, a neighbor recalled witnessing fiery disputes between the mother and daughter, and seeing someone dragging a large object out of Mullenix's apartment, then watching as two people threw it into the back of a car with a Florida license plate.

Rachael Mullenix and Allen were taken into custody within days in Louisiana. They were on their way to Florida, where they had friends. Police said they were linked to the crime by evidence found at the apartment that Mullenix shared with her mother in Huntington Beach, and by statements from witnesses.

Mullenix, who took the witness stand in her own defense, said Allen was the person who killed her mother. She admitted that she helped clean up the crime scene, but only because she was afraid of Allen.

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christine.hanley@latimes.com

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