Tenant Stabs To Death His Landlords Over Covid Worries In "Brutal and Frenzied Attack", London
A man who stabbed his landlords to death during the first lockdown after becoming paranoid about Covid has been found guilty of their murders at the Old Bailey, London.
46-year-old Daniel Briceno Garcia brutally attacked his landlords Sonia Butron Calvi, 66, and Edgar Aquilera Daza, 60, at the home they shared with five others in Stockwell, south London.
When police attended the property after the attack on April 1, 2020, they described finding an absolute "bloodbath".
Prosecutor Tom Little QC, told the Old Bailey that Daniel Briceno Garcia had stabbed the pair repeatedly with a knife in a "brutal and frenzied" attack.
Briceno Garcia admitted manslaughter but he denied murder, his defence was that at the time of the attack he was mentally ill.
A jury at the Old Bailey took just 45 minutes to find him guilty of two counts of murder.
Briceno Garcia had been living with five other Spanish speakers at the property on Dorset Road, in which his victims had sublet rooms.
Tom Little said: "Witnesses described that the defendant had become concerned, if not paranoid, about the risk that Covid was going to pose, and was concerned about that in this property.
"That in itself you may think is understandable. It is quite another thing to react to the risks which Covid posed with the use of a knife."
Ms Butron Calvi had continuously expressed her concerns about how Briceno Garcia was "constantly in a bad mood."
On the day of the savage attack, the court heard how Briceno Garcia had launched his "brutal and murderous attack", targeting Mr Aguilera Daza first, and then Ms Butron Calvi.
A witness who opened her bathroom door in the property saw Briceno Garcia holding Mr Aguilera Daza by his throat and repeatedly stabbing him in the stomach.
Ms Butron Calvi was heard screaming, "Daniel, no, Daniel. Daniel, I'm going to call the police."
Briceno Garcia, who was wearing white cleaning gloves at the time, told the witness to "Go back into your room and lock the door. I'm calling the police."
46-year-old Briceno Garcia surrendered himself to authorities at the front door, holding his hands up, the court heard.
Mr Little added: "What was found at the property can only be properly described as a bloodbath."
Mr Aguilera Daza was found dead in the hallway laying in a pool of blood while Ms Butron Calvi was found face down in the kitchen, holding a knife.
When police searched Briceno Garcia's room, they found the murder weapon, which they believe had been cleaned under a tap during a "limited clean-up exercise", they also found a whiteboard that was covered in notes in both French and Spanish about Covid.
Once he was arrested, Briceno Garcia said to police, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry", but would not explain what happened.
Once he was taken to Brixton police station, authorities described him as "calm and coherent", while also "hostile and uncooperative."
Briceno Garcia had small cuts on his hand, he told his psychiatrist that other tenants in the house had been attempting to get money from him using violence.
He also said that he heard voices and the two landlords were attempting to kill him.
Mr Little told the court that his claims of delusions and hallucinations were "very much in dispute."
A sentencing hearing will be held at a later date.
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