Man Convicted of Hacking Prostitute to Death With Butcher Knife

A 27-year-old father was convicted of hacking a prostitute to death with a butcher knife during a dispute at a Southern California motel in 2012.

A jury on Friday found Kameron Hamilton guilty of second degree murder in the killing of 30-year-old Priscilla Santana, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office said.

On the day of the slaying, prosecutors say Hamilton bought a large butcher knife at a 99 Cents Only store, then arranged to meet a prostitute at a Redlands motel.

Hamilton put his two children down for a nap, then left to meet the woman. Once inside the motel room, Hamilton and Santana agreed on a price, but at some point the two began to argue, prosecutors said.

Hamilton demanded his money back and began to stab the victim, prosecutors said. She tried to flee and made it out the door, only to be dragged back into the room and attacked again.

A motel maid heard Santana's cries for help, prosecutor Melissa Rodriguez said. As the maid moved closer to the room, the door slammed shut and the maid noticed blood splattered on the window. She called the front desk for help.

By the time it was over, prosecutors said Santana was stabbed 59 times on her back and skull.

During the trial, Hamilton said it was the woman who had pulled out a knife and cut him on the arm, prosecutors said. He claimed he wrestled the blade away from her and stabbed her with it.

But investigators found the knife's packaging in a trash can at Hamilton's home, Rodriguez said. They traced the packaging back to a 99 Cents Store, where they got a hold of surveillance video of Hamilton buying the knife that day.

Hamilton is set to be sentenced Dec. 2. He faces 16 years to life behind bars.

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