Luis Fuentes sentenced to 78 years to life for fatally stabbing his three sons to death in Sept 2015
The 38-year-old Angelino plead guilty Tuesday to stabbing his stabbing his three sons aged eight to 10 to death in the back of an SUV in Los Angeles where they had been living after their mother died
Fuentes was charged with capital murder in the deaths of 10-year-old Luis and his brothers Juan, 9, and Alexander, 8, five years ago
The carnage happened inside an SUV where they had been living for several months
The family had fallen on hard times after Fuentes’ wife Maria, had died suddenly of an aneurysm in 2008
The brothers were pronounced dead at the scene of the stabbing while Fuentes was taken to hospital in critical condition and ultimately survived his wounds
Fuentes admitted falling on hard times since boys’ mother died suddenly – ‘Forgive me,’ he told the judge, sobbing in the courtroom before sentencing on Tuesday
A Los Angeles dad will probably spend the remainder of his life behind bars after he was convicted of slaughtering his children five years ago
Luis Fuentes, 38, was handed a term of 78 years to life in a Los Angeles court on Tuesday after admitted to stabbing three young sons Luis, 10, Juan, nine, and Alexander, eight, to death in 2015.
The boys were found in the back of an SUV in September that year. The boys had been living out of the vehicle with their father for several months at the time.
Fuentes and his boys had fallen on hard times following the sudden death of his wife in 2008. Maria Fuentes had died suddenly from an aneurysm
The children were pronounced dead at the scene while their father was found slumped over the steering wheel, having passed out from self-inflicted stab wounds in a failed suicide bid.
While Fuentes has not spoken at length in public since the stabbings, records released in court show a life marked by series of tragedies, culminating in extreme violence.
In tale of the generations Luis Fuentes’ own father was killed when he was aged five, the LA Times reported. His his mother died when he was 17, leaving him to raise his siblings by himself.
Having emerged from a traumatic childhood, he went on to marry and have three children of his own. Still more tragedy as his wife Maria died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 2008. A babysitter close to the family recalled her as ‘a very special person’.
The death Maria threw the meat factory worker back into the cauldron of single-handedly raising a family for the second time, while trying to deal with the grief of his wife’s passing.
Some time after her death he moved in with a girlfriend, Josefina Barrales, with his three children boys.
In 2010, social services were called to Fuentes shared with Barrales over allegations that he was physically abusing the children.
Barrales encouraged social workers to get involved, because Fuentes had become ‘anxious, nervous and depressed’.
After finding two of the children with bruises, likely caused by a belt, the family was placed under supervision.
‘I made a mistake,’ Fuentes told investigators at the time, but when asked about whether his father hit his brothers, the oldest boy Luis told caseworkers “He has hit them maybe 2 or 4 or 100 times.”
Case workers found that Fuentes often worked long hours at the meat plant, and returned home to pandemonium. His children required constant supervision, and at one point, one of the boys was found playing with a knife.
He was ordered to attend parenting classes and grief counseling. While he willingly attended the classes, he resisted the counseling, case workers noted that the ‘Father feels that counseling will not be beneficial to him because it will force him to remember when all he wants is to forget’.
In November 2011, the family was taken off supervision after Fuentes had attended all of his parenting classes, but only one counseling session.
Social workers were then called back to the home in 2014 to more reports of child abuse. They failed to substantiate the allegation, but they noted that the constant pressures of working a dangerous job and caring for three young children were weighing heavily on Fuentes.
A short time later, Fuentes and his girlfriend ended their relationship, forcing the family to move out.
For a time the Fuentes lived with his sister, then began bouncing between motels and sleeping in the car – where they had been for several months before tragic triple-homicide.
The family were receiving $204 a month in food stamps, records show, but an application for welfare was turned down on June 22, three months before the boys were killed.
On September 9, the family were found inside their car in the Nevin area of Los Angeles, close to downtown. The boys were pronounced dead at the scene, while Fuentes was rushed to hospital in critical condition.
He survived his injuries and was charged with capital murder. Sobbing in the courtroom, he told the judge: ‘Forgive me.’
Prosecutors decided not to seek capital punishment in the case, and instead offered Fuentes a plea deal that would avoid the death penalty in return for a guilty plea.
Fuentes pleaded guilty late Tuesday, and was immediately handed what amounts to a life sentence.