A Panorama City man pleaded not guilty Thursday to killing his wife with a machete and then forcing his way into his neighbors’ apartment, where he allegedly attacked a couple and their teenage son.
David Ernesto Rodriguez, 36, allegedly chased his wife, Karla, out of their apartment on Roscoe Boulevard near Kester Avenue during an argument June 22 and killed the 32-year-old woman with a machete, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
He then allegedly forced his way into his neighbors’ apartment and attacked the husband and wife, along with their 17-year-old son when he tried to intervene, according to prosecutors. The father suffered serious eye, nose and arm injuries from the machete, while the mother’s head was cut and their son’s hand was seriously injured, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez is charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and first-degree burglary with a person present, along with two counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem involving the alleged attacks.
The charges include allegations that he used a deadly weapon — the machete — and caused great bodily injury.
Rodriguez was arrested early that morning by Los Angeles police and remains jailed.
A date is scheduled to be set Aug. 29 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.
Rodriguez could face up to 40 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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