Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

California Briefing / SANTA ANA

Man is convicted of killing niece, 11

September 12, 2008|H.G. Reza

A man who stabbed his 11-year-old niece 35 times as she slept was convicted of murder Thursday and faces 26 years to life in prison. But because William Orren Dawes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, a court will first have to determine if he was sane when he killed the girl.

Dawes, 29, was living with his mother and niece, Sonia, in Laguna Niguel on Sept. 20, 2005, when his sister, Lorraine, unexpectedly arrived at the house. His mother had custody of the girl. That night Dawes and his sister went to a party and became separated.

He returned home, grabbed a knife with a 10-inch blade and went into Sonia's bedroom and stabbed her repeatedly in the chest. He fled, and his mother discovered Sonia's blood-covered body when she checked on her during the night.

Sonia, who had just started the sixth grade, was taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo where she was pronounced dead.

Dawes was arrested by Irvine police the morning after the slaying, and officers recovered the knife used in the stabbing. His sanity hearing is set to begin Monday.

-- H.G. Reza

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|