Jesusa Ursonal Tatad, a native of Zamboanga in the Philippines, was also ordered by Judge Robert D. Foiles of the Superior Court of San Mateo in Redwood City to pay $19,260.58 restitution payable to her former sister-in-law, Lilybeth Estes; $4,441.75 to compensation board and a $1,000 fine.
Tatad pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of her former husband, Ronie T. Tatad, 37, a registered nurse, who was sleeping when she poured boiling water on his face and upper part of his body due to her “rash judgment and out of anger because of jealousy.” She later told Judge Foiles that she had regretted her actions “every day of my life.”
During her arraignment on Dec. 7, 2011, Tatad pleaded not guilty to felony torture (whose maximum penalty is life term with parole), mayhem (life term with parole), assault with deadly weapon (5 years maximum), domestic violence (5 years maximum) and witness dissuasion (5 years maximum).
But during a pre-trial hearing last April 3, 2013 before Judge Foiles, she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, setting the stage for her sentencing last May 17.
Initially, Tatad was not charged with murder as Ronie survived but suffered burned skin and under severe pain after being scalded with boiling water on Nov. 16, 2011. But when Ronie died 23 days later on Dec. 9, 2011, a murder charge was added to her information.
Ronie sustained second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his head and body. When he woke up after feeling burning sensation, Ronie rushed to the bathroom to cool off. But Jesusa hit him on the head with a baseball bat. Ronie was able to stagger out of their home, attracting a witness, who called 9-1-1.
When Jesusa tried to prevent the witness from calling the authorities, a charge of witness dissuasion was added to her information.
Jesusa is not likely to be deported as she is said to be a U.S. citizen, who petitioned Ronie to obtain a Green Card. Their two children, 14 and 9, who are both U.S. citizens, are under the care of Ronie’s relatives in Ronie’s native province of Catanduanes in the Philippines. The children traveled to the Philippines before the tragic event.
It was reported that Ronie, who worked at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, was with another woman (his girlfriend) inside his apartment when Jesusa saw them and felt betrayed by alleged Ronie’s promise that they would remarry after their divorce. They secured their divorce decree before the San Francisco Superior Court.
Jesusa was a “personal caregiver” with the Home Health Advocates.
At the sentencing, Jesusa was represented by her lawyer, John K. May, while the prosecution was represented by San Mateo Deputy District Attorney Morris Maya.
JESUSA URSONAL TATAD’s mug shot courtesy of Lt. Ray Lunny of the San Mateo Sheriff’s department. (FAXX/jGLi)