A murder trial is scheduled to open today for a Tustin Ranch mom accused of fatally shooting her much-older, retired Manila International Airport general manager husband and trying to do the same to her sons, then 9 and 16, on Mother's Day 2011. Annamaria Magno Gana, 43, faces special circumstances murder and attempted murder counts with sentencing enhancements that could send her to prison for life without parole.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, 2011, a gunshot was heard in the Gana home in the 18400 block of Manning Drive in unincorporated Tustin. Antonio Potenciano Gana, 72, and his older son rushed into a bedroom to discover their wife/mother had fired a round into the ceiling. She is accused of then turning the gun on her husband, shooting him in the chest.
As the couple's son turned to run, he was shot in the arm, but he managed to get out of the room and call 9-1-1 on his cell phone. The younger boy, seeing his mother holding up the gun, managed to wrestle it away from her and take it outside.
Orange County sheriff's deputies arrived to arrest Mrs. Gana, who was treated for minor injuries suffered in the shootings. The boys were put under the care of a relative.
Just when it did not seem the case could get more bizarre, The Philippine Star reported four days later that Gana had converted to Islam before marrying her husband and that his first wife accused him of bigamy.
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Annamaria Gana is charged with one felony count each of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, two felony counts of attempted murder, and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury.
Opening statements are expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. in Superior Court in Santa Ana, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement.
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