Late Monday afternoon in Department 19 of the Tulare County Superior Court, South County Justice Center in Porterville, a jury found Leonardo Nacoa, 33, of Porterville guilty of second-degree murder with the special allegations of personal use of a firearm and discharge of a firearm causing death, and three counts of felony child abuse likely to cause great bodily harm. 

After a day of arguments with his wife on December 15, 2012, Nacoa went out for drinks. When he returned to the couple’s apartment later that evening, the arguments continued before he “racked” a shotgun in his wife’s face and shot her at point blank range in the head. The couple’s 2-year-old daughter was lying on the bed next to her mother when the shooting occurred, while their 1-year-old son was only feet away in his crib. Both children were covered in blood when police arrived. According to reports, the victim’s 7-year-old daughter, who was in another room when the shooting occurred, told police “Daddy killed mommy.” 

Immediately after the shooting, Nacoa left the children alone in the apartment and fled to Mexico, but surrendered himself to law enforcement a day and a half later. Nacoa faces more than 60 years-to-life in prison at sentencing. 

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kirk Davis and was investigated by the Porterville Police Department.

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