Saugus man who stabbed his mother to death committed to mental hospital

Santa Clarita Sheriff's Deputies stand outside of a home on Castille Lane in Saugus during an investigation. Austin Dave/Signal

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge committed a Saugus man to a state mental health hospital Wednesday after the man pleaded no contest to one count of second degree murder, having stabbed his mother to death in 2016.

Jesse Lucatero, 26, appeared Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court where he entered his plea.

“Today, he pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Wednesday.

“Then, following a court trial on the sanity phase, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity,” he added.

At that point, the judge committed Lucatero to a state mental health hospital, Santiago said.

In January, Lucatero waived his right to have a preliminary hearing which placed him on track for a murder trial.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present evidence in a case and the defense can respond, after which the judge decides if the case should go to trial.

Over the last couple of years, there have been at least five failed attempts to set a date for Lucatero’s preliminary hearing.

Lucatero faces one count of murder with the allegation he used a knife in killing his 56-year-old mother, Maria Acevedo, inside the family home on the 19500 block of Castille Lane.

He was arrested on Oct. 3, 2016, four hours after the stabbing, initially as a person of interest and then as a suspect, prosecutors said at the time of his arrest.

Acevedo’s body was discovered by the victim’s husband, who is the defendant’s father, prosecutors noted in a news release issued shortly after the arrest.

The Acevedo family owns and runs the Magaritas Mexican Grill restaurant on Valencia Boulevard.  

jholt@signalscv.com   661-287-5527 on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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