Closing arguments made in case of Castro Valley man who stabbed wife to death with screwdriver — (The East Bay Times)

To view original article click here

The East Bay Times

By Paul T. Rosynskystaff Writers

PUBLISHED: May 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm | UPDATED: August 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm

OAKLAND — Luis Hernandez lost control of his longtime companion he beat and dominated during a 17-year relationship, a prosecutor said Wednesday, so he deliberately planned and executed a killing that left Rose Goulart bleeding to death from 24 stab wounds.

The killing was not a result of Hernandez losing his mind in the heat of passion, deputy district attorney Lindsay Walsh said. It was a carefully planned event in which Hernandez took several steps to ensure he could ambush Goulart, 46, as she arrived at work.

Reminding the jury of seven women and five men about the various pieces of evidence presented during the weeklong trial, including the fact that Hernandez borrowed and then drove his aunt’s car to the murder scene, Walsh said she has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the 49-year-old is guilty.

“A person who thrives on control, when they feel diminished, they are going to borrow their aunt’s car and ambush the mother of their children,” Walsh said. “Because she chose to start her own life, he made the conscious, deliberate decision to brutally stab her 24 times and then leave a screwdriver in her chest.”

Hernandez attacked Goulart in the parking lot of an office building on the St. Rose Hospital campus in Hayward as she left her car to go to work. Goulart’s co-workers watched in horror as Hernandez drove his aunt’s car in front of Goulart’s, jumped out and began stabbing Goulart with a screwdriver Hernandez had previously sharpened into a shank.

Hernandez used his aunt’s car for the killing, Walsh said, because Goulart’s co-workers knew of the troubled relationship and had been told weeks earlier to call police if they saw Hernandez after Goulart had won a restraining order against him.

Had Hernandez used his own vehicle, a large, white pickup truck, he would have easily been spotted as he waited for Goulart in the parking lot for at least 10 minutes before she arrived, Walsh said.

But that is not the only piece of evidence proving Hernandez planned the killing, the prosecutor said: He also wore dark clothing and a baseball hat to conceal his identity, and he threatened Goulart with death after she told him she would seek $150,000 from him for the house they once shared.

At the time, Hernandez told Goulart that she should take $10,000 in cash or her family will end up using the money for a “fancy funeral.”

“He knows exactly what he is doing,” Walsh said. “Did the defendant intentionally kill? That has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Hernandez admitted on the witness stand that he killed Goulart but said he did so under the influence of drugs and alcohol, which made him go “crazy.”

Hernandez said he doesn’t remember anything from the stabbing and said he only went to Goulart’s workplace in an attempt to talk to her and convince her to return.

The night before the killing, Hernandez said, he drank 20 beers and took a cocktail of drugs, including morphine, Xanax and Prozac in an effort to end his own life. On the day of the killing, he said, he was driving to pick up a day laborer when he saw Goulart driving behind him. That’s when he decided to go to her workplace, he said.

His attorney, Deborah Levy, asked the jury to find her client guilty of manslaughter instead of a special-circumstances, first-degree murder, arguing that Hernandez was acting in a rage when he killed.

“If you want to premeditate and lie in wait for someone, you don’t do it at their office,” Levy said. “Luis didn’t care; he didn’t think about that because he was enraged.”

Levy said testimony from witnesses describing the past abuse Hernandez inflicted on Goulart was exaggerated and said Walsh was trying to spin descriptions of minor arguments in the past into acts of domestic violence.

“The district attorney is taking everything and turning it to have you believe that Mr. Hernandez is a monster,” Levy said. “Who can enrage you more than those close to you, your loved ones?”