Man denies killing woman, severely injuring girl

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Court, gavel, trialVISTA, Calif. — A Vista man accused of fatally stabbing an acquaintance and critically wounding her 8-year-old daughter in the victims’ San Marcos apartment pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.

Judge Marshall Hockett ordered 28-year-old Daniel Hernandez held in lieu of $5 million bail, calling him a danger to the community.

Hernandez faces life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior.

Sheriff’s deputies went to a unit in the Whispering Oaks Apartment complex on North Twin Oaks Valley Road about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and found 41- year-old Antonia Marie Duran dead of multiple stab wounds and her 8-year-old daughter, Azalya, badly injured, homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

Prior alleged Hernandez, who had met Duran a couple months earlier at a car wash, went to her apartment the day of the murder with the intent to kill her.

The defendant searched the apartment to make sure no one else was there, finding only Azalya asleep in her room, Prior said.

The girl woke up while Hernandez was allegedly stabbing the victim and screamed, “Leave my mother alone,” the prosecutor said. Not wanting to leave a witness, Hernandez then attacked the girl, stabbing her 26 times in the liver, kidney and pancreas, Prior alleged.

As she was being taken to the hospital, the girl said “I don’t want to die,” according to Prior, who said the child is expected to live but is in a medically induced coma.

Prior said Duran’s adult son found his mother and sister lying in a pool of blood after seeing the defendant run from the apartment. Duran was stabbed 22 times, Prior said, though a motive for the attack was unclear.

Hernandez was located at a nearby laundromat, washing the clothes he had been wearing, including a sweatshirt, shoes and other clothing, Prior alleged.

The prosecutor said blood and other physical evidence links Hernandez to the attack. She said two bloody knives were found inside the victims’ apartment.

A week before the murder, Hernandez trashed his parents’ home and was arrested for being under the influence of an unknown drug, according to Prior, who said the defendant has previous convictions for domestic violence, assault and misdemeanor burglary from Washington state.

Hernandez will be back in court Jan. 7 for a preliminary hearing.

5 comments

  • Mrs R

    My 8 year old cousin will be spending her Christmas Eve and Christmas Day motherless in the hospital when she should be looking forward to Santa Claus and time with our family. This demon needs to pay for what he did!

  • Amanda kopp

    FIRST OF ALL I WANT TO SEND MY PRAYER OUT TO THE DURAN FAMILY I LOVE U GUYS AND IM SO SORRY AND TO LIL MIJA BABY GIRL U HANG IN THERE U R AN AMAZING LIL TROOPER! AND TO THE PIECE OF SHIT HERNANDEZ I HOPE SOME ONE MAKES U FEEL THE PAIN U INFICKED 10 MILLION TIMES WORSE U R A SORRY PIECE OF SHIT A FUCKING COWARD MAY U DIE A HORRIBLE PAINFUL DEATH U SICK FUCK!

  • carrie

    As i read this tears r flowing down my face My heart aches for the Duran/Gonzalez family Ill continue to prY for ur lil cuzin and may ur tia RIP and ne ur guardian angel from up above God Bless u All. Sorry for ur loss and Ashley , Joe , and Paul plz be strong and comfort eachother at this time.

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