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Father pleads not guilty in slaying of girlfriend, their two kids

October 9, 2012 |  1:28 pm

A man charged in the August slayings of a woman and their two young children who were found stabbed in their Riverside home pleaded not guilty Tuesday, according to the Riverside County district attorney's office.

Selvin Chajon Rodriguez, 23, of Riverside, has been charged with three counts of murder, two counts of assault of a child causing death and one count of burglary. A special circumstance allegation of multiple murders has been filed by the district attorney, making Rodriguez eligible for the death penalty. The district attorney's office has not yet decided whether it will pursue the death penalty in the case.

Laura Reveriano, 25, and her two children, Selvin Chajon, 4, and Emily Chajon, 1, were stabbed to death in their home on a quiet cul de sac in west Riverside on Aug. 30. Rodriguez was the father of the children, according to court papers.

Reveriano filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order against Rodriguez, her ex-boyfriend, three days before her death.

"Selvin called and told me he would follow me to the end of the Earth and he would kill the kids if they are not with him and there would be nowhere I could hide," Reveriano wrote in the court documents, filed in Riverside County Superior Court on Aug. 27.

A judge granted a temporary restraining order the next day and set hearings for child custody and establishing a permanent restraining order for later in September. Although the temporary restraining order had been granted, it had not been served on Rodriguez, so police weren't involved at that point, said Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint.

Rodriguez is believed to have fled the scene of the deaths in Reveriano's car, according to the district attorney's office. He was found minutes later, covered in blood, walking along the 91 Freeway and carrying a knife, police said. When police arrived, Rodriguez ran and was shot by a Corona police officer.

Because of his medical condition, his arraignment was postponed 15 times, according to John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney's office. He had not been medically cleared to be transported for his arraignment, though it continued to be listed on a court calendar, Hall said.

Days before the deaths, Rodriguez took Reveriano and their children to a park, according to neighbors. He had flowers and a ring and asked her to marry him. After Reveriano declined his proposal, Rodriguez began threatening her, said Carmela Barrera, who lives near the home where Reveriano rented a room.

In court papers, Reveriano wrote that Rodriguez stole her car key and cellphone the day she turned down his proposal, and she called police. Rodriguez broke a window in the house, sending broken glass flying onto her son, who had been sleeping near the window. The glass cut her son's chest, she wrote.

Rodriguez then called Reveriano repeatedly and sent her a constant stream of threatening text messages, she wrote. He told Reveriano he would "put a knife to [her] waist" and would take the children with or without her, Reveriano wrote.

Rodriguez is expected to appear in court in November for a felony settlement conference.


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-- Hailey Branson-Potts