Man convicted in grisly beheading of San Carlos mother

A man was found guilty of murder on Monday in the beheading of his child's mother outside a home in San Carlos. 

Jose Landaeta, 34, was the estranged boyfriend of Karina Castro, who was 27 years old at the time of her death. Landaeta was charged with first-degree murder in the gruesome attack that happened on September 8, 2022.

The defendant killed Castro in broad daylight on a street, just feet from her apartment.

Prosecutors said that Castro suffered repeated blows to the neck with a samurai at the hands of Landaeta.

Castro and Landaeta shared a young daughter, and Castro also had an older daughter from a previous relationship.

The trial took place at the Redwood City Hall of Justice and took several twists and turns, including Landaeta abruptly stopping his testimony while on the witness stand. He also refused to appear during closing arguments last week. 

Landaeta faces 26 years to life in prison.