By John Arceno
VENTURA, CA – Mary Eugenia Karacas appeared in Ventura County Superior Court Wednesday, just about five years after she allegedly murdered her longtime boyfriend—he was found dead by the new homeowners of the property that the couple sold in Simi Valley.
Karacas was in court for sentencing—she was found guilty for voluntary manslaughter as well as the alleged production of great bodily injury against her deceased partner.
Per the request of the victim’s family, Deputy District Attorney John Barrick read four victim impact statements, all of which condemned Karacas for the victim’s murder in 2016.
“The trauma of his death and the feelings that entails just don’t go away. They’re not like feelings one experiences with a normal death,” one of the victim’s nieces wrote. “We haven’t been allowed that normal grief process.”
DDA Barrick continued to read the frustrations that the victim’s niece had toward the police department and the homeowners’ association, calling their lack of compassion “numbing” as their family was scrambling to find “answers to lay (their) uncle to rest.
“I can really only hope that Mary dies in prison because I am truly concerned about her release. There is no telling what she can connive her family into helping her with,” she added. “As far as restitution, although we are entitled to it… we (just) want this all to be a thing of the past.”
Echoing the aforementioned sentiments of her cousin, another one of the victim’s nieces wrote about the emotional toll her uncle’s murder had on her in another victim impact statement, claiming she did not aptly process the tragedy because immediate action was needed, leaving her no time to grieve.
“Even after five years, as we have had to learn about the justice system and how the law works, a logical mind says: ‘you murder someone, you go to jail for life,’” she wrote. “Some of the family is still finding it very hard to deal with this not being the case.”
In the third victim impact statement, another of the victim’s cousins wrote about the sense of betrayal they feel toward the defendant for having allegedly murdered their family’s “mentor, master barber, and accomplished musician.
“No one gets away with murder. You tried to pull the system,” wrote the victim’s relative. “But we all know you alone killed (him).”
Another relative began their statement with a quote from the deceased victim himself, who once adorned Karacas with praise, saying, “Mary Karacas — she’s a universe unto herself…the most honest, straightforward person I (the deceased) have ever known.”
The relative later juxtaposed the victim’s praise by condemning Karaca’s alleged “diabolical” voluntary crime.
Defense counsel Glenn Major asked the court to “strike and reduce the (fines and fees)” that Karacas would have to pay “given the length of the sentence that (she) would serve.”
Judge Patricia M. Murphy refused to give the defendant probation, citing “a pattern of violence, and what appears (to be)…a lack of remorse” on Karacas’ part.
Murphy also ruled that the defendant “stands convicted of a charge of voluntary manslaughter” where she will be ordered to serve 11 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
An additional three years was also added in the defendant’s sentence for the alleged use of a firearm against her deceased partner.
Fines and restitution were also imposed on the defendant. She was ordered a total of $1,000 for state restitution fine as well as an additional victim restitution to be given to the victim’s family in the amount of $1,712.37.
The judge, however, dismissed allegations of second degree murder as well as personal and intentional discharge of a firearm.
The next hearing is scheduled for July 27.