A CALL center agent tagged as the mastermind in the 2016 killing of his wife and one-year-old son in Sta. Rosa, Laguna yesterday entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment.
Ricardo Sta. Ana was arraigned at the sala of Sta.Rosa, Laguna Regional Trial Court Branch 102 Judge Gil Jude Sta. Maria Jr.
A brief commotion occurred outside the courtroom after the arraignment when relatives from both camps traded accusations and threw water bottles at Sta. Ana, prompting policemen to rush him to their waiting vehicle.
Sta. Ana was apprehended based on a warrant issued by Sta. Maria last November 22 while at work in a call center office in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
He is facing two counts of parricide for allegedly masterminding the killing of his 29-year-old wife Pearl Helene and son Denzel inside their residence at Celina Plains Subdivision in Sta. Rosa on March 2, 2016.
The mother and son were attacked by two men who posed as Internet repairmen from a telecommunications company. Pearl was raped before she and her son were bludgeoned with a hammer.
Several days after the killing, trike driver Ramoncito Gallo surrendered to police authorities and pointed to Sta. Ana as the one who hired him and identified Bryan Avistado as his cohort in killing the victims.
Gallo told the police that Sta. Ana gave them fake identification cards from the telco and the form that they used to convince his wife that they were real troubleshooters sent by the company to repair their malfunctioning Internet connection.
He said Sta. Ana wanted Pearl killed to exact revenge for allegedly having an affair with another man.
The Department of Justice in August 2016 dismissed the case, saying there was insufficient evidence to warrant Sta. Ana’s indictment.
The police revived the case after Avistado was caught. The suspect corroborated Gallo’s testimonies and identified Sta. Ana as the one who gave them P60,000 and a mobile phone to record the killing of his wife.
Police investigators also recovered a CCTV footage showing Sta. Ana meeting with Gallo and Avsitado inside a fast food joint in Muntinlupa city an hour after his wife and son were killed.