Wednesday, 24 April 2024

REGIONAL: Jury finds man sane in murder, torture of mother of his children

SONOMA COUNTY – A jury has found that a man who killed the mother of his two young children and stuffed her body into a toy box was sane at the time of the crime.

Honorio Pantaleon, 32, had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of Patricia Barrales. But on Friday, a Sonoma County jury returned the verdict regarding Pantaleon's sanity, according to Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua.

Last week, the jury convicted Pantaleon of first degree murder for killing Patricia Barrales in May 2008. They also found him guilty of the special circumstance of torture and the attempted murder of his mother-in-law, which occurred in Mendocino County two days after Barrales was murdered.

The same jury that decided his guilt began to receive evidence on Monday regarding Pantaleon's mental status.

Passalacqua said the verdict case exemplified the horrific tragedy of this crime.

“The victim and her family received justice in a Sonoma County courtroom today,” he said Friday. “This was a heinous attack that underscores the tragic consequences of domestic violence. This man planned a purposeful attack to kill and torture his partner. He will never again be free to harm any other innocent people.”

On May 10, 2008, Barrales returned to the Santa Rosa apartment she shared with Pantaleon and their children after celebrating Mother’s Day with her family in Ukiah, Passalacqua's office reported.

A short time after returning home Barrales was murdered. Both of the minor children were present during and witnessed the crime.

The oldest child, who was 4 years old at the time, provided officers with information which led to the location of the victim’s remains.

Barrales had 68 stab and incised wounds on her body, including her head, neck, chest, back and abdomen.

Pantaleon had used at least two knives during the commission of the crime before he placed Barrales' body in a toy box, moved the toy box into the children’s closet, covered up a bloody carpet and left with his two children and family dog.

He drove to his parent’s house in Kelseyville where he began planning to murder the victim’s mother, officials reported. He and a friend then reportedly drove to a sporting goods store to purchase ammunition.

On May 12, Pantaleon entered his mother-in-law’s home, pointed a rifle at her chest and pulled the trigger. The gun did not discharge and Pantaleon hit her on the head with the rifle and fled the location. He was arrested in Ukiah later that day.

The now 5-year-old son of the victim testified via closed circuit television to avoid the trauma of being in the courtroom with his father, Passalacqua's office reported.

The witness who purchased the ammunition with Pantaleon refused to testify, was found in contempt and placed into custody. He will remain in custody pending completion of the sanity phase or until he agrees to testify.

Deputy District Attorney Tashawn Sanders was the lead prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney Tania Partida was the second chair assigned to the case, Passalacqua's office reported. Sergeant Alissa Johnson with the Santa Rosa Police Department was the lead investigator.

Pantaleon's sentencing is pending.

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