Execution of Mother Urged for 3 Murders

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A jury Wednesday recommended the death penalty for a mother who stabbed her three children to death.

Dora Buenrostro, 38, was convicted last week of killing Susana, 9, Vicente, 8, and Deidra, 4, in October 1994. All three children were stabbed in the neck.

Jurors said the defendant showed a lack of remorse when she testified during the penalty hearings. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 2.

Buenrostro killed the children in a rage after a fight with her ex-husband, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Soccio. In his closing statement, Soccio said she planned the killings to hurt Alex Buenrostro, then tried to implicate him.


After her conviction, Dora Buenrostro lashed out at police in San Jacinto, where she lived, at prosecutors and at her own attorneys. She denied killing her children and continued to blame her former husband.

The defendant stared ahead Wednesday as the jury’s recommendation was read and a court interpreter whispered a Spanish translation. Moments later, as Riverside County Superior Court Judge Patrick Magers thanked the panel, she began to sob.

The three-week trial took a toll on jurors, police and attorneys. Jurors heard detailed descriptions of the killings and saw gruesome crime scene photographs. They heard Alex Buenrostro tearfully describe his arrest shortly after the killings and the impact the deaths have had on his life.

Some jurors and spectators cried several times during the trial.


Juror Tia D’Errico of Corona, who has a 6-year-old daughter, said Dora Buenrostro’s tirade during the penalty hearings made a difficult choice easier.

“If she would have said, ‘I did it, I’m sorry, I loved my children,’ it would have made it easier to vote for life in prison,” said D’Errico, 32. “It is not easy sentencing someone to death. But we made the right decision.”