A 23-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 16 years to life in prison for fatally stabbing his girlfriend in his car in a restaurant parking lot in La Habra five years ago.

Jose Antonio Bojorquez-Romero was convicted May 17 of second-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon in the killing of 19-year-old Selena Araiza of La Habra on April 28, 2017.

The victim sustained 65 “sharp force injuries” in the attack, according to Deputy District Attorney Casey Cunningham.

The defendant “violently and callously stabbed Selena in the head, neck and chest until she was dead,” Cunningham wrote in a sentencing brief. “He committed this brutal act of violence because she broke up with him and because she had engaged in sexual relations with another man.”

The defendant’s attorney, Vu Tran, said his client was “molested at the age of 6 while living with his grandmother in Mexico,” according to a sentencing brief.

“At the age of 13, Mr. Bojorquez-Romero was hospitalized for suicidal ideations after informing his school counselor he wanted to kill himself,” Tran said. “Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bojorquez-Romero met Ms. Selena Araiza and they began dating.”

The two were in a “toxic relationship,” but were “first loves,” the attorney said.

Tran argued that the defendant retrieved the knife to harm himself, not to attack the victim. He requested probation for his client.

Romero “lured” Araiza to his car in the early morning hours, and when “he came to realize he would no longer be in control of this relationship” he stabbed her repeatedly in the neck and once in the chest with a kitchen knife, Cunningham said in his opening statement of the trial.

The victim said she had been intimate with another man and wanted to break off the relationship, Cunningham said.

“If he couldn’t have her, no one else would have her,” Cunningham said. Cunningham showed jurors a photo of the knife with its handle missing. “He used that knife so violently, so many times, it cause the handle to break off.”

That evening the two got together in the parking lot of the Green Burrito, 911 W. Whittier Blvd., “where they would spend their time” together often, Cunningham said. Video surveillance caught much of the scene with the two getting together about midnight and then parting and then returning a multiple times through the night and into the morning.

Romero called her about 5 a.m. and asked her to return to the parking lot, where she left her car, just a few steps from where she lived, Cunningham said.

“She has no idea what’s about to take place,” Cunningham said, adding that the defendant retrieved a knife before he returned the final time.

The stabbing takes place about 6 a.m., and Romero called 911 about 6:10 a.m., Cunningham said. Romero had a knife wound to his own neck.

The defendant told the dispatcher, “There’s a guy with a knife running around,” Cunningham said.

Romero called 911 again five minutes later, the prosecutor said, and he told the dispatcher that the knife-wielding suspect was “fighting with somebody.”

As he waited for the police to arrive, he can be seen on the video “casually” flipping the knife a few times and “leaning into” the car to apparently kiss Araiza on the forehead, Cunningham said. When the officers arrived he refused to put the knife down as commanded, but the police subdued him with a stun gun and rubber bullets.

Romero told police under questioning that he considered killing himself that morning and that the defendant and victim “struggled” over the knife, Cunningham said. When she jumped on his lap to more forcefully attempt to take the knife away, he said, “I don’t know what hit me” and he repeatedly stabbed her.

“It was not uncommon for them to break up every day and make up,” Tran said.

About a week before the killing, the two “got into another major breakup,” he said. Romero asked her if she had dated another man and she denied it. “He was prepared to let her go and move on,” if she wanted to date someone else, Tran said. But Araiza said she wanted to stay together.

A couple of days before the killing, they had another “breakup,” Tran said. That night, Romero browsed online “for ways to commit suicide.”

The next day he showed up at her job with flowers and “she was happy” and gave him a “big kiss,” Tran said. But the next day “they were on bad terms again.”

They met at their familiar place at the Green Burrito parking lot and “spent most of that night talking,” Tran said.

“Ultimately they decided to end it and he was OK with that,” Tran said, adding, that for the first time, she acknowledged that she had dated someone else.

“He was devastated but prepared to let go,” Tran said. After they parted, she told him to be careful driving home in a text message and he said that he hoped he would be killed by a drunken driver.

Romero went home to get a knife and resolved to kill himself, but he called the victim because he wanted to see her one more time and say goodbye, Tran said. He wrote a suicide note before meeting with her, and then they talked for about 30 minutes and she grew concerned about the knife so she tried to take it from him.

Ultimately, the two calmed down, but when he admitted his plan was to kill himself she suddenly jumped on his lap and attempted to take the knife from him and as they struggled over the weapon she got wounded and angrily said that if he was intent on suicide she wished he would go ahead and do it so she could move on with her new boyfriend, Tran said. “When he hears that, he snaps.”

Romero attempted to stab himself in the neck a couple of times, wounding himself, but when that doesn’t work, he called 911 to “commit suicide by cop,” Tran said.

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