The dramatic trial of Rachael Mullenix, charged with the brutal stabbing of her mother when she was 17, came to a close last week with a first-degree murder conviction. But the trial of her former boyfriend Ian Allen looms in the near future, and Mullenix’s jury didn’t find she held the murder weapon.
Mullenix is headed to a sentencing hearing Sept. 5; her conviction carries a sentence of 25 years to life.
Allen, who Mullenix claimed was the sole killer during her testimony, was initially scheduled for jury trial July 11, but it was pushed back because her trial wasn’t finished.
Mullenix sobbed violently last week as a jury found her guilty. Her first question after hearing the verdict was “How could this be?” followed by “How is my family?” her attorney David Cohn said.
Mullenix was accused of getting former boyfriend Ian Allen to help her murder her mother, Barbara Mullenix, in her Huntington Beach condo in 2006.
Jurors found Mullenix, 19, guilty of first-degree murder on the fourth day of deliberation. They did not give her a sentence enhancement for personal use of a deadly weapon, which means they didn’t see proof she actually stabbed her mother.
Mullenix entered the courtroom sobbing. When the verdict was announced, she wailed convulsively and collapsed face-first on the table. “It’s not right,” the teen’s grandmother, who declined to give her name, said through tears as the verdict was read.
During the weeks-long trial, Mullenix had testified she loved her mother as her “best friend,” but planned to run away from an unstable household with Allen after Barbara Mullenix threatened to keep them apart. As she told it, Allen got into an argument with the mother the night they tried to leave, but the teen was shocked to see him stabbing her mother violently. Mullenix testified she helped him clean up and dump the body because she was “in shock.”
But prosecutor Sonia Balleste called her a manipulator who used emotional tricks to enlist Allen to help her stab Barbara Mullenix more than 50 times with multiple knives. “I think she hates her mother,” Balleste said to reporters after the trial. “In my opinion, Rachael Mullenix is a sociopath.”
Cohn said he still believed his client’s story.
“The evidence in this trial from the defense perspective is everything I know about this case,” he said. He said he didn’t know about any appeals Mullenix might make, as he wasn’t an appeals lawyer and wouldn’t be handling them.