Orange County man sentenced for stabbing 10-year-old
November 17, 2002
FULLERTON, Calif. — A man who stabbed to death his girlfriend’s 10-year-old boy and then tried to decapitate the body was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison.
Efrain Loza Arteaga, 28, of Anaheim, was sentenced Friday in Superior Court.
He was convicted in August of first-degree murder and use of knife in the Jan. 22, 2000 slaying of Francisco Meza.
A jury ruled that he was sane when he used a kitchen knife to stab the fifth-grader more than a dozen times in the neck and chest.
“We never really figured out a motive,” prosecutor Kevin Haskins said.
Defense attorney George Donveas argued that Arteaga, who suffered from depression, had a hallucination after taking the drug Prozac.
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During the killing, he contended, “he had a hallucination that the devil told him to kill the child.”
However, Arteaga had stopped taking the drug before the killing, and the prosecutor said no trace of Prozac was found in blood drawn at the time of his arrest.