‘I’m here to kill you,’ intruder told Costa Mesa mom before stabbing her and 2 sons, police testify

A man accused of stabbing a Costa Mesa woman and her two sons told her he intended to kill her when she found him burglarizing her home last year, a police detective testified in court Wednesday.

Det. Jose Morales said during a preliminary hearing for the suspect, Israel Larios, that the intruder put one of his fingers to his lips and shushed the woman when she found him standing in her sons’ bedroom in their apartment on Wallace Avenue.

The man told the mother in Spanish, “Shut up, I’m here to kill you,” before reaching into his sweatshirt and brandishing a knife, Morales testified.

Morales said the man grabbed the woman’s left forearm and swiped at her stomach with the knife before she screamed for her sons.

Larios, 21, of Costa Mesa, was arrested in connection with the Oct. 18 attack that left the mother and her two sons, ages 11 and 17, with stab wounds.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheryl Leininger ruled Wednesday that there is enough evidence for Larios to stand trial. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19.

Larios is charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of burglary and a count of criminal threats, all felonies. He also faces possible sentencing enhancements on allegations of personally using a deadly weapon, inflicting great bodily injury and attempted premeditated murder, according to court records.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Larios is being held in the Theo Lacy jail facility in Orange with bail set at $1.52 million, according to jail records.

On Wednesday, he appeared in a Westminster courtroom in chains and an orange jumpsuit for the hearing. Periodically, he turned to look at his family.

Costa Mesa detectives testified that the woman and her sons had just returned home from running errands when the mother confronted the intruder. Her shouts for help prompted her sons to run to her aid.

A struggle ensued and the mother and two boys were stabbed. Det. George Maridakis testified that during the scuffle the 17-year-old heard the intruder say, “I’ll get my gang and I’ll kill you.”

The mother and the 17-year-old were taken to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana for treatment. The 11-year-old son was taken to Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange, where he underwent surgery for multiple stab wounds to his torso, authorities said.

Officer Jinna Johnson, the first police officer on the scene, testified that she saw a man matching the suspect’s description fleeing the Westside apartment complex.

She chased the man to a nearby apartment complex and detained him until additional officers arrived. When she handcuffed him, she noticed he had blood on his hands, she said.

“He was just very calm,” Johnson said.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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