Teens ordered to stand trial for torture, stabbing of friend

ESCONDIDO — As her teenage friend begged for her life, Karina Amador confessed she grew more enraged and intensified her attack, a detective testified. The brutal assault, which left the then-14-year-old victim with five stab wounds and scratches from a knife being dragged over her, was allegedly perpetrated by Amador, 15, and her friend, 14-year-old Jovana Gudino, last May in the victim’s home on Goldenrod Street in Escondido. New details about the attack were revealed at the teens’ preliminary hearing March 4 in a Vista courtroom. In Amador’s mirandized statement to police, Escondido police Detective Erik Witholt testified the teen said, “Jovana didn’t stab her. She just hit her a couple of times and I did the rest.” Amador told police the stabbing was over a boy, Witholt testified. Further, the young defendant said she aimed for the stomach because that’s where the kidneys are located, which would make the stabbing more painful. Despite Amador’s police confession, both she and Gudino were ordered to stand trial for attempted murder, torture, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, burglary and dissuading a witness. The torture charge alone carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. An arraignment hearing, at which time a trial date may be set, is scheduled for April 18. During the hearing, the victim walked the court through the May 3 incident. She testified the co-defendants and another teenage male, whose case is being handled in Juvenile Court, barged into her home as she was letting her dog inside. Then, the girls began their assault by punching and dragging her into a back bedroom where she was stabbed repeatedly. Following the attack, the victim testified she was forced into the bathroom and told by Amador to wash off the evidence and not to snitch. After the three teens left, the victim called 911 and was life-flighted to Rady’s Children’s Hospital. Doctors said her injuries could have been fatal if she had not received medical treatment when she did. Despite some scars, the victim testified she has made a full recovery from the attack. Though, she now suffers from asthma because her lung was punctured during the assault. As the victim spoke from the witness stand, Amador and Gudino, each dressed in orange jail scrubs with their hair up in a bun, sat emotionless as their former friend detailed the attack. Throughout the proceedings, both girls flashed occasional smiles to their supporters as they were led out of the courtroom during breaks. The victim testified she was good friends with Amador, adding that the young defendant often visited her house. As for Gudino, the young girl testified they had been friends in middle school. About a week before the attack, the victim said her relationship with Amador became rocky after the defendant hit her in the face while the two were hanging out at the victim’s home. Amador faces an additional misdemeanor battery charge relating to that incident.

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