LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Attorneys for the father of three children who were allegedly killed by their mother in 2021 in Reseda want a judge to order the production of personnel records of about a dozen Los Angeles police officers involved in the case.
In his Los Angeles Superior Court suit filed in April 2022 against the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, plaintiff Erik Denton alleges that LAPD officers were negligent and did not take seriously the indications that the mental health of Liliana Carrillo, the mother of the two girls and one boy, was declining, and did not share information they had with county social workers.
A report published by the county Office of Child Protection after the killings stated that Denton’s cousin, emergency room physician Dr. Teri Miller, pleaded with officers to help and expressed concern that Carrillo might kill the children, according to a Wednesday filing by the plaintiff’s attorneys.
“But her pleas fell on deaf ears,” the plaintiff’s lawyers state in their court papers.
Carrillo, 32, has pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court to three murder charges stemming from the April 10, 2021, killings of her 6-month-old daughter Sierra, 3-year-old daughter Joanna and 2-year-old son Terry. Carrillo allegedly drowned the victims.
The murder charge involving her youngest daughter includes an allegation that she used a knife during the commission of the crime. The child suffered a stab wound to the chest that struck her left lung, according to a deputy medical examiner.
“Central to this case is several LAPD officers’ failure to meet the basic requirements of their duties as mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect,” Denton’s lawyers argue in their court papers.
Denton’s attorneys further maintained that evidence they compiled shows the LAPD took a report of possible molestation of the children in February 2021, yet did not prepare a required suspected child abuse electronic report or notify the county Department of Children and Family Services.
A month later, LAPD officers responded to a call by Denton, who had an emergency custody order directing that Carrillo turn over custody of the children to the plaintiff, according to Denton’s attorneys’ court papers, which further state that the police report documents that Carrillo was possibly suffering from an unknown mental illness.
“These colossal failures raise serious questions about what the officers present during these interactions knew, what training they had about how to engage with and navigate allegations that a mother suffering from mental illness might kill her own children and what training they had about other resources available to take action to prevent the children’s deaths,” Denton’s lawyers wrote.
In an interview from jail following her arrest, Carrillo told a reporter for the Bakersfield NBC affiliate KGET that she killed her children because she feared their abuse and sexual assault at the hands of others.
“I drowned them,” she said of her children. “I wasn’t about to hand my children off to be further abused.”
When asked by the KGET reporter if she regretted her actions, she said, “I wish my kids were alive, yes. Do I wish that I didn’t have to do that? Yes. But I prefer them not being tortured and abused on a regular basis for the rest of their life.”