Murder Suspect In Death Of Ex-Husband Faces Multiple Felony Charges

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – When she was born on Christmas Day in 1971, she was named after Jesus.

But when she celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday, Jesusa Ursonal Tatad she was not home for Christmas. She spent her time inside the San Mateo County Jail Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City, California.

Ms. Tatad is facing murder and five other felony charges for scalding her divorced husband with boiling water while he was sleeping two days after last Thanksgiving on Nov. 26 inside their home in Daly City, California.

Sgt. Michael Barton, Daly Police spokesman, told this reporter over the phone that it was on Saturday, Nov. 26, at about 10:50 a.m. when police got a call that a victim later identified by San Mateo Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti as Ronie Tubalinal Tatad was found outside his residence with serious burns in his body and was immediately transported to a local hospital.

Barton said police investigations later learned that shortly before the incident, Jesusa boiled a pot of water while Ronie was sleeping. Jesusa, then, poured the boiling water on his face and upper part of his body. 

When Ronie rushed to the bathroom shower to cool off, Jesusa allegedly hit Ronie with a baseball bat. This prompted Ronie to step out of his house, where a security guard noticed that Ronie “was in distress in great red and great in pain.”

At this point, Jesusa allegedly dissuaded the security guard from calling the police but to no avail.

NOT GUILTY PLEAS

Attorney Guidotti told this reporter that at the arraignment last Dec. 7, Jesusa pleaded not guilty to felony torture (whose maximum penalty is life term in prison 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).

Jesusa was not granted bail.

Ronie died in the hospital on Dec. 9. During the court appearance on Dec. 13, a murder charge was added to the charges against Jesusa. Murder calls for 25 years to a life in prison with possibility of parole.

Jesusa will be up for arraignment of the murder charge on Jan. 9, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., when she will make a “plea and hopefully there will be a setting of date for preliminary hearing” at the San Mateo Superior Court in Redwood City, according to Guidotti.

Call placed by this reporter on Jesusa’s court-appointed defense attorney, John K. May, was not returned.

Ronie T. Tatad, a registered nurse, who was said to be having double job, and believed to be a native of Catanduanes province in the Philippines, was working at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco. He has two children with Jesusa, both girls, aged 12 and 7, who are both in the Philippines under the care of Ronie’s relatives.

Police and San Mateo District Attorney sources said, although divorced, Ronie and Jesusa were living together under the same roof. Ronie’s brother and sister are also living with the divorced couple. Other sources said their living arrangement “was for economic reason” since Ronie “had to pay for the house, an alimony and child support.”

Motive for the killing is still being investigated. Reports said that Jesusa was jealous that Ronie was having an affair with another woman although they were already divorced. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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