Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 10:28 p.m
LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) — A man has been accused of attacking his three young children and killing two of them in Lancaster, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Prospero Guadalupe Serna was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault on a child under 8 resulting in death and one count of child abuse.
The investigation began just before midnight Saturday when the children’s mother called 911 for help and said her children had been harmed.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office alleges the fatal attack occurred while Serna was home with his four children and their mother.
Responding officers found two of the children, Ziasia and Najila Serna, beaten and stabbed. Ziasia was 7 years old and Najila was 3.
The other two children, one of whom was injured, were found hiding in the house. All children were under 10 years old.
If convicted as charged, Serna faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
The night the department responded, videos from the scene showed a physical struggle to arrest Serna, which required the use of multiple officers to pin him to the ground and take him into custody.
“It’s extremely difficult,” said Lt. Daniel Vizcarra of the Sheriff’s Department on Sunday. “This is traumatic for everyone involved. All the deputies who responded, all the parties involved, the investigators, everyone.”
The county Department of Children and Family Services declined to say whether the family had been investigated for possible child abuse in the past, citing confidentiality laws.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s homicide unit at 323-890-5500.
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