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"Monster" who killed mother in front of her children gets life

August 31, 2012 |  4:37 pm

A gang member was sentenced Friday to 73 years to life in prison for killing the mother of his two young children, stabbing her more than 20 times as their children watched, prosecutors said.

A jury this month found Miguel Alexander Vargas, 28, guilty of  first-degree murder and carjacking, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

In February 2009, the Placentia resident -- documented by police as an active gang member -- repeatedly called his former girlfriend, Angelina Alvarado, after earlier pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, prosecutors said. 

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Feb. 5, prosecutors said a friend of Vargas' drove him to Alvarado's home. He went into Alvarado's bedroom, where she and the two children -- 4 and 6 years old -- were sleeping. 

Prosecutors said Vargas threw her to the ground, dragged her into the living room and punched her repeatedly. Then, he began stabbing her. 

Alvarado's father, who had been in the backyard, heard her screams, grabbed a baseball bat and ran inside. But Vargas dashed out of the house and into his friend's car and drove  away. 

Prosecutors said that Vargas then forced his friend from the car and fled, hiding in Tijuana until his arrest.

At the sentencing hearing Friday, Alvarado's mother, Rachel Alvarado, was among the family members who spoke not only of their loss, but about how the two children would have to cope with what they saw and with life without their parents.

"Our family is devastated, and Miguel Vargas is a monster," she said.


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-- Rick Rojas