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Author Topic: Jurors Recommend Death for Couple in Child Torture Case  (Read 2623 times)
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oldiebutgoodie
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« on: April 24, 2009, 01:23:53 AM »


RIVERSIDE -- Two juries have recommended death for a couple who were convicted of torturing and killing their 11-year-old nephew last month.

The Corona couple has been convicted of first-degree murder for torturing and killing their 11-year-old nephew on Christmas Day 2005. 

Separate juries heard the cases against Raul Ricardo Sarinana, 42, and Cathy Lynn Sarinana, 32. 

The jury hearing the case against Raul Sarinana arrived at a verdict Tuesday, but Riverside County Superior Court Judge Paul Zellerbach ordered that verdict sealed until the jury hearing evidence in Cathy Sarinana's trial completed its deliberations.

That jury reached its verdict this morning.

In his closing statement, Deputy District Attorney John Aki told jurors that Cathy Sarinana abetted and took an active part in her husband's violent abuse of Ricky Morales and the boy's 14-year-old brother, Conrad.

Aki reminded jurors that Cathy Sarinana was the only one in the Sarinana household who smoked, and an autopsy revealed numerous cigarette burns on Ricky's body, including some on the child's genitals.

"There's some kind of sadistic intimacy when you do that," Aki said. "You're up close. You have to strip the victim's clothes off."

When Ricky was asked by friends how he had received a black eye or bruise, the boy responded that he had been in a fight -- an excuse Cathy Sarinana instructed the child to use, according to Aki.

The woman's lawyer, Patrick Rosetti, admitted the evidence was hard to stomach, but asked jurors to "fight off the emotional part" and concentrate on witnesses' testimony. 

Rosetti mentioned two incidents in which the Sarinanas' neighbors saw Raul Sarinana choke and push his wife into a wall.
   
The attorney argued Raul Sarinana mentally tormented his wife, who went along with whatever her husband wanted to do out of fear for what might happen to the couple's two small children.

According to the prosecution, on Christmas Day 2005, Ricky Morales became ill from internal injuries and was unable to digest a meal Cathy Sarinana made for the family. 

She was offended, and Raul Sarinana forced the 11-year-old to clean the bathroom floor as punishment.

Aki said the defendant kicked the child several times because he thought Ricky was not making an effort. 

Recalling Raul Sarinana's own words to investigators, Aki said the defendant threw the boy in a bedroom closet, and when Ricky tried to open the closet door, Raul Sarinana stomped him several times.
     
The child died in the closet and remained there for hours until Cathy Sarinana called 911.

Investigators allege the Sarinanas began abusing Ricky and Conrad within weeks of the boys' arrival at the couple's Randle, Wash., mobile home in late 2004.

During the investigation of Ricky's death, Corona police found Conrad's body encased in a trash can filled with cement outside the defendants' Bell Avenue apartment. 

Authorities in Lewis County, Wash., are waiting for the outcome of the Sarinanas' trial in Riverside before a decision is made on whether to prosecute the pair there for Conrad's death.

The older boy was last seen in August 2005, before the Sarinanas relocated to Corona, according to trial testimony.

The brothers were sent to live with Raul and Cathy Sarinana after their mother -- Raul Sarinana's sister -- was jailed in Los Angeles County on felony charges.
     
Raul Sarinana's attorney, Victor Marshall, told jurors last week that no witness reported actually seeing the boys being abused.

He said his client, jobless and emotionally unbalanced, suffered "extreme stress" and killed Ricky in a fit of anger.

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