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California Briefing / SANTA ANA

Teen gets prison in parent's death

October 11, 2008|Christopher Goffard

Rachael Mullenix, the Huntington Beach teenager who conspired with her love-struck boyfriend to murder her mother and dump the slashed body into the bay, expressed only grudging and limited remorse Friday as a judge sentenced her to 25 years to life in prison.

"I don't care what the jury thought, I did not do that to my mother," Mullenix, 19, told Orange County Superior Court Judge David Thompson. "I can't even believe this is happening to me."

Despite a jury's verdict of first-degree murder in July and her admission that she helped cover up the slaying of her 56-year-old mother, Mullenix continued to insist she did not inflict any of the 52 wounds found on Barbara Mullenix's body, which included a slashed jugular and a butter knife in the eye.

Still, she described her mother as "my world" and "my life" and said she woke with guilt in her jail cell every morning. "Even though I didn't do it," she said, "I feel like I didn't do enough to prevent it."

In handing down the prison term, Thompson pointed to the number of wounds on Barbara Mullenix's body and noted that she was especially vulnerable, given that she was attacked in her own bedroom by someone she trusted.

He also cited Rachael Mullenix's apparent absence of remorse.

Her former boyfriend, Allen, 23, was convicted of first-degree murder last month for his role in the killing. He faces 25 years to life when he is sentenced in November.

After the murder, Allen and Rachael Mullenix dumped the body into Newport Harbor, fled toward Florida on Interstate 10 and were stopped in Louisiana.

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