Burien man pleads not guilty to killing former wife in Kent

A 41-year-old Burien man pleaded not guilty on Monday to the stabbing death of his former wife July 20 in Kent.

Telesforo Hernandez-Roa entered the not guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge in King County Superior Court at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent and is scheduled to return to court Aug. 14 for a case setting, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. A trial date could be set at the court hearing or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.

Hernandez-Roa remains in the county jail with bail at $2 million.

Ruth Castillo-Yanez, 39, of Federal Way, died from multiple stab wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office. Kent Police found her dead July 20 in the backseat of her red Nissan Pathfinder parked in the lot in the 23400 block of Military Road South.

If convicted, Hernandez-Roa faces a minimum of 12-plus to 20-plus years in prison. Prosecutors say he stabbed Castillo-Yanez at least 25 times. An autopsy showed that Castillo-Yanez also had wounds on her left forearm and left and right fingers which were consistent with defensive injuries.

Seattle Police contacted Kent Police after Hernandez-Roa told Seattle Police officers that he had an altercation with his wife earlier in the day on July 20. He told police he had learned Castillo-Yanez was cheating on him and the man she was dating had recently sent naked photos of her to him. Police took Hernandez-Roa into custody after finding the body. He refused to answer any questions and asked for an attorney.

Detectives searched Hernandez-Roa's vehicle and found a dress shirt and white T-shirt with a significant amount of blood on them. Police also found a man's wristwatch and wedding ring with blood on them.


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