Sacto 9-1-1
January 20, 2012
Man who murdered girlfriend with hammer gets 26-to-life

Curtin-cropped.jpgA man who murdered his girlfriend by hitting her 10 times in the head with a hammer and then stuffing a sock in her mouth was sentenced today to 26 years to life in prison.

Donald Joseph Fernandes, 37, received the term after his conviction in November for the murder of Karen Ann Curtin, 50 (pictured).

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According to evidence at Fernandes' trial, he took the hammer away from Curtin after she had threatened him with it in a Jan. 24, 2010, dispute at her Boxwood Steet home in North Sacramento.

She died four days later at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge David De Alba said the killing is "probably the most heinous, brutal act of murder" he has ever seen in his more than 10 years on the bench

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