Man Who Stabbed Girl To Death Gets Life in Prison

Teen's body left in Mustang on I-8

A man who stabbed a teenage girl then left her body in the car along Interstate 8 was sentenced Friday.

Raul Ponce, 22, was given a life term in prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and the use of a knife in the death of Tania Bataz, 17, in April 2006.

Prosecutors said Ponce killed her because she wouldn't let him drive her father's Mustang

At the sentencing, the victim's father, brother and sister all addressed the court before he was handed down a life in prison sentence by the judge.  16-year-old Talia Bataz, who was 14 at the time of her older sister's death, was the most emotional. 

She cried as she said, "I despise this man so much.  I have so much hatred for him. I can't stand him seeing out of jail. I can't stand seeing him." 

Ponce sat with one hand on his face and displayed little emotion throughout the hearing.
Bataz's death rattled her community and the San Diego High School campus when her Ford Mustang was found off the side of Interstate 8 in the early morning hours of April 26, 2006. 

Bataz had been stabbed multiple times the night before while riding in her mustang along with Ponce and two other friends.  The two other boys witnessed the stabbing and said it all started when Ponce became agitated when Bataz wouldn't let him drive her car. 

It was later revealed that Ponce had an anger problem and had actually missed a court-ordered anger management class the night of the killing.  According to one of the boys who was driving the car, Bataz was sitting shotgun when Ponce stabbed her from the back seat as the group drove from Highway 94 to the northbound Interstate 805 interchange. 

Bataz was stabbed so many times that the San Diego District Attorney's office had pushed for a special circumstance of torture until a plea deal was reached. 

Tania's brother, Anibal Bataz made specific mention of this at Friday's sentencing hearing saying "what this man did to my sister is inhuman. To stab her so many times, more than a 100 times, nobody deserves to die like that." 

Contact Us