A woman has pleaded ‘no contest’ to charges that she murdered her ex-husband in a jealous rage by pouring boiling water over him while he slept.
Jesusa Ursonal Tatad, from Daly City in California, faces at least 16 years in prison after refusing to challenge the allegations.
She had also been accused of beating Ronnie Tatad over the head with a baseball bat as he lay in agony, but charges of ‘torture’ and ‘mayhem’ were dropped as part of the second-degree murder plea deal.
Defence attorney John May told the San Mateo County Times: “This is an acknowledgment by her that she caused the death of the only man she ever loved… she wished she could change the past but she can't.“
The couple divorced in December 2007 but are believed to have been living together and had agreed to remarry at the time of Mr Tatad’s death.
Prosecutors say Jesusa Tatad had discovered another woman in the couple’s apartment two weeks before the murder.
They say that, after Mr Tatad arrived home “later than he was supposed to” two weeks later, the accused flew into a jealous rage.
They accuse her of waiting until Mr Tatad was asleep in bed before pulling back the sheets and dousing him in boiling water.
They say she then proceeded to hit her Mr Tatad over the head with a baseball bat while he lay in agony.
At that point Ronnie Tatad ran out of the apartment soaking wet and half naked and hid behind a car.
His skin was said to be flaking off and he became hysterical as his ex-wife approached him in the street, but police officers were able to restrain and arrest her.
Mr Tatad was taken to hospital with burns covering 55 per cent of his body. These burns later became infected and Mr Tatad died of blood poisoning two weeks after the attack.
The couple’s tense remarriage negotiations have been traced as the root of the attack, with their troubles starting shortly after the pair divorced.
Mr Tatad is said to have offered to remarry Jesusa not long after the divorce, and allegedly also agreed to bring the couple’s nine and 14-year-old children back from the Philippines.
But years went by and Mr Tatad had not acted on the oath, instead apparently seeing another woman and insisting the couple’s children live with relatives.
“He never fulfilled his promise… but he didn’t deserve to die,” Mr May said.
Tatad is currently being held without bail at the San Mateo County Jail, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 17.Reuse content