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California woman charged in deaths of her young 3 children


              FILE - In this April 12, 2021, file photo, photos, candles, flowers and balloons are placed as a memorial for three children who were killed at the Royal Villa apartments complex in the Reseda section of Los Angeles. Liliana Carrillo, 30, has been charged with killing her three young children in Los Angeles earlier this month, prosecutors said Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
FILE - In this April 12, 2021, file photo, photos, candles, flowers and balloons are placed as a memorial for three children who were killed at the Royal Villa apartments complex in the Reseda section of Los Angeles. Liliana Carrillo, 30, has been charged with killing her three young children in Los Angeles earlier this month, prosecutors said Monday, April 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California woman has been charged with killing her three young children in Los Angeles earlier this month, prosecutors said Monday.

Liliana Carrillo, 30, is charged with three counts of murder, with an allegation of using a knife as a deadly and dangerous weapon against her youngest child, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Monday in a news release. It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

Carrillo admitted to drowning her 3-year-old daughter Joanna, her 2-year-old son Terry and 6-month-old daughter Sierra during a jailhouse interview with KGET-TV. The attack occurred April 10 in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles; Carrillo's arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

Carrillo told the TV station that she had hugged, kissed and apologized as she drowned her children to save them from what she said would be a lifetime of sexual abuse. She said she wanted to “protect” her kids from their father amid a bitter custody battle.

“I did it as softly, I don’t know how to explain it, but I hugged them and I kissed them and I was apologizing the whole time,” she told the TV station. “I loved my kids.”

Carrillo has alleged that the father, her ex-boyfriend, is part of a sex trafficking ring that she claimed runs rampant in Porterville, a small city in central California where the family lived until the end of February.

The kids’ father, Erik Denton, has denied Carrillo’s allegations and wrote in court papers seeking custody that she is delusional and it was unsafe for their children to be around her.

Carrillo is currently in a Kern County jail on $2 million bail. She had fled LA after the attacks and was arrested later that day in Tulare County, nearly 200 miles (322 kilometers) north after a carjacking in Kern County. She has pleaded not guilty to the carjacking-related offenses.

It was not immediately clear when she could be extradited to LA.

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