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Man pleads guilty to brutally killing pregnant girlfriend after she refused to have an abortion


He faces 27 years to life in prison

Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images

Antonio Magana, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection to the 2014 killing of his pregnant girlfriend, 21-year-old Ashley Moran.

Magana, who was first arrested in 2014 in connection with the crime, initially pleaded not guilty.

What are the details?

According to the VC Star, Magana killed his girlfriend in Santa Paula, California, in March 2014 after she refused to have an abortion.

Prosecutors said that Magana pleaded guilty to the charges during a hearing this week in Ventura County Superior Court.

Moran's lifeless body was discovered in a city park in the early morning hours following her murder. She was about eight weeks pregnant with the couple's child. Magana reportedly killed Moran and her unborn baby because he wanted her to abort the child and he also could not afford to have another child. But she refused.

According to Senior Deputy District Attorney John Barrick, the incident took place March 15, 2014, in Obregon Park, where the two were together with an unnamed friend.

Barrick said Magana stabbed Moran in the neck and hit her over the head with a bat, causing blunt-force trauma, which ended up killing her. Magana reportedly then dragged Moran's body into the bushes as he left the scene.

"About 10 to 20 minutes after the defendant and the victim walked into the park, [the witness] heard one loud 'ping' noise, like a baseball connecting with an aluminum baseball bat, from the direction where the defendant and victim were," Barrick wrote in an affidavit.

The unnamed witness "testified that he exited the vehicle after he heard the noise because he had a feeling something had happened to the victim."

"The defendant then came running back to the car by himself and said, while looking nervous and upset, 'Oh, [expletive]! I hit her!'" the affidavit read.

Barrick reported that the witness did not engage Magana further because "he did not want to elicit a violent response from him."

What else?

The witness reportedly lied to prosecutors during early stages of the investigation, which held up the trial. The witness — who Magana reportedly said was an accomplice — was later given immunity. The witness testified that he had seen Magana dispose of a metal baseball bat and dump the deceased girlfriend's cell phone on the side of the road.

Magana challenged the judge's preliminary hearing decision, saying that the prosecution relied on an unreliable witness testimony, and insisted that the witness was culpable as an accomplice. Prosecutors still determined that there was enough evidence to hold Magana on two felony counts of murder.

"Knowing that Moran has been assaulted [the witness] left her in the park without checking on her," Magana's defense attorney, William Haney, wrote. "He did not report the incident to police. Instead, he continuously lied to investigators."

Haney revealed that Magana will receive a sentence of 27 years to life in prison under the terms of his client's plea agreement.

"It is greatly hoped that his change of plea and acceptance of responsibility begins to afford the victim's family some measure of peace and comfort," Haney added.

A former medical examiner reported that the unborn baby weighed about 5 grams and had a "distinguishable head, arms, legs, abdomen, and major internal organs."

Magana is set to be sentenced on Dec. 5.

(H/T: Live Action)

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