A man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for fatally stabbing his wife in their Lemon Grove, California, home in April 2021.
On April 16, 2021, deputies responded to a report of “a domestic incident with a male and female reportedly arguing” at a home on Dain Court at about 7:30 p.m. Deputies forced their way inside the home after hearing screams.
Jay Barcelon, 32, and his wife Rhona Fantone, 30, were both found with stab wounds. They were both sent to the hospital, where Fantone died shortly after arriving.
Barcelon underwent surgery and was later arrested on suspicion of murder. On April 30, 2021, he pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife.
During Wednesday’s trial, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and admitted to using a knife in his wife’s killing, according to Deputy District Attorney Miriam Shoval.
Barcelon faces 16 years to life in state prison and is expected to be sentenced in December.
Fantone, who was one of four sisters and a fraternal twin, was a certified nursing assistant at Sharp Coronado. She also became the mother of two young children after her family moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in the early 2000s. Barcelon was a United States Navy sailor.
The victim’s family has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help with her funeral expenses and to help financially support her two children.
“She was always smiling, laughing. You could never tell there [were] any issues,” Krissy Flauta, Fantone’s cousin, told 10 News. “If you’re in any trouble — relationship trouble — seek help.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or visit www.thehotline.org for anonymous and confidential online chats.