Old Town Trolley Killer Pleads Guilty

By Eric S. Page
|  Friday, Mar 6, 2009  |  Updated 12:42 PM PDT
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Old Town Trolley Killer Pleads Guilty

A teenager accused of a daytime killing at the Old Town Trolley station gets some good legal news.

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A teenager who stabbed two girls -- one fatally -- in broad daylight at the Old Town Trolley stop last year changed his plea on Friday.

Daniel Padilla, 17, was accused of stabbing Rochelle Quintana, 17, to death at the station in September. Sara Chavez, 17, was also stabbed in the incident.

On Friday, Padilla pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection to the case. His sentence could be anywhere from probation to as much as five years in prison. He could have received a sentence of 18 years to life in prison if he had been found guilty of the murder charge and other counts he faced.

Prior binding Padilla over for trial, Judge Michael Wellington told the court he believed that Padilla was "substantially provoked" by the victims. Quintana died of a single stab wound to the chest. The autopsy report showed that the 5-foot-4-inch tall teenage girl, who weighed 201 pounds, had traces of methamphetamine in her bloodstream when she was killed.

Padilla maintained that he was acting in self-defense.

Padilla is scheduled to be sentenced April 23.

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