A wife who fatally shot her 72-year-old husband and tried to do the same to her two sons in the family's Tustin Ranch home on Mother's Day 2011 was found guilty today by a jury of charges that could send the 43-year-old to prison for life without parole.
The sentencing of Annamaria Magno Gana, whose slain husband Antonio Potenciano
Gana was a retired Manila International Airport general manager, is scheduled for June 3 in Santa Ana.
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 Gana and
his then-16-year-old son rushed into a bedroom to discover their wife/mother had
fired a round into the ceiling. She then turned the gun
on her husband, said "Now!" and shot him in the chest.
As the teen 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
Gana's then-year-old-son (who is the hero of this tragedy) managed to wrestle the gun away from his mother 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
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.
During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Mrs. Gana, who was
diagnosed with cancer prior to the murder, "selfishly decided to murder
her family because she believed that that they couldn't live without her
if she died and that if she was going to die, then they should all 'go
together,'" reads a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Gana was convicted of 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.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.