A woman who is accused of dousing her ex-husband with boiling water because she thought he was seeing another woman will stand trial for murder, torture and mayhem.
Jesusa Tatad, 39, was sharing a tiny 600-square-foot apartment with Ronnie Tatad when she became jealous and attacked him in his sleep, prosecutors say. Mr Tatad, 36, died two weeks after the assault in November from an infection he contracted while recovering from second and third degree burns over 60 percent of his body.
The couple divorced in 2007 but were still living together in Dale City, California, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Mr Tatad came home from work on November 26 and the couple argued about whether he was seeing another woman, authorities say. She waited until he went to bed then heated a large pot of water. When it reached boiling point, she pulled back the covers and poured it over his body, according to police. As he leaped up in pain, she was waiting with a baseball bat and allegedly clubbed him in the head. As he was being taken away, though, he said he didn't want Tatad arrested and added that his 'fiancé is really jealous and is after his ex-wife.'
He was rushed to a burn unit and spent the next two weeks sedated with a tube in his throat, unable to talk. Police planned to re-interview Mr Tatad about his last statement, though they never got the chance. He died on December 9 of a bacterial blood infection he contracted because of the massive burns on his body. Authorities say Jesusa Tatad wasn’t cooking anything prior to the incident and deliberately boiled the water for the attack. 'It wasn’t like she was cooking breakfast,' he added. 'He boiled up that pot of water to pour on him.' Tatad has been held without bail on charges including murder, aggravated mayhem and torture. However, her lawyer, John May, seized upon Mr Tatad's final statement and says it casts doubt on whether his ex-wife was actually responsible.
Police say that when an officer at the scene asked Ms Tatad whether she was responsible for the attack, she responded, 'Yes, officer.' It takes just one second for water over 155 degrees to cause third-degree burns. Hot liquids can cause the same tissue damage as fire, according to the burn center at San Fransisco's St Francis Memorial Hospital. Last month, a judge in Pennsylvania sentenced a two sisters to two to eight years in prison after they were convicted of using boiling water in a fight with two other women in their apartment complex. Both victims of the 2010 assault were permanently scarred, one of them disfigured.