A jury on Tuesday convicted a man of stabbing his wife to death and stopping her from calling for help at their Lancaster home nearly two years ago, authorities said.
Rafael Barragan, 48, was found guilty of first-degree murder and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime with force, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement. The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury also found true the special allegation that he used a knife in the killing.
Barragan fatally stabbed 37-year-old Katrina Barragan during an argument at the couple’s home in the 4200 block of Jonathan Street, prosecutors said. The argument had begun earlier in the evening after the suspect and victim left a birthday party together.
During the attack, Rafael Barragan stabbed his wife “multiple times,” the D.A’s Office statement said.
“Before her death, the victim called police but the call was interrupted by the defendant,” according to the statement. The victim ultimately succumbed to her wounds at a hospital.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives detained Rafael Barragan at the home, sheriff’s officials said at the time. He was arrested early the following morning on suspicion of murder.
The knife believed to have been used in the killing was found at the scene, officials said.
Barragan faces up to 26 years to life in state prison when he returns to court for sentencing on July 5, officials said.