A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Donald Joseph Fernandes of first-degree murder in the Jan. 24, 2010, hammer attack on his girlfriend, Karen Ann Curtin. It took the panel four and a half hours of deliberations to reach a verdict.
Judge David De Alba scheduled Fernandes' sentencing for Dec.16. He faces a 25-to-life term.
According to evidence at his trial, Fernandes, now 37, struck Curtin, 50, ten times in the head with the hammer. Fernandes testified that Curtin came after him with the hammer during an argument the morning of the assault, but that he blacked out and could not recall beating her.