A Los Angeles father pleaded guilty Tuesday to stabbing his three sons to death inside the family’s car five years ago.
Luiz Fuentes, 38, entered his plea in a downtown courtroom and was immediately sentenced to 78 years to life in prison by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench.
As part of the plea, Fuentes admitted to using a knife to kill his boys, ages 11, 9 and 8, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office.
On the morning of Sept. 9, 2015, the three children were found in the father’s SUV, which was parked outside a South L.A. furniture warehouse. Fuentes was in the front seat, bloodied by self-inflicted stab wounds.
In the months before the boys were killed, they lived with Fuentes in his SUV, according to a review of nearly 700 pages of child protection case records released to The Times after the slayings.
The records detailed child protection workers’ dealings with Fuentes and portray the financial pressure and grief he faced after the boys’ mother died in 2008.
Over the years, the county had received anonymous calls that accused Fuentes of abusing the boys. The Department of Children and Family Services substantiated one accusation, a 2010 incident in which Fuentes beat his then-5-year-old son with a belt.
“I made a mistake,” he told caseworkers at the time, according to records.