Last August, when eighteen-year-old Isabella Guzman was arrested for murder, an arrest affidavit on view below estimated that she'd stabbed her mom 79 times. But subsequent evaluation determined there were even more knife wounds -- 151 of them in all.
Now, however, a judge has accepted Guzman's not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea in the same jurisdiction where prosecutors are continuing to seek the death penalty despite Aurora theater shooter James Holmes doing the same thing. See photos and a video and get more information about this shocking case below.
As we noted in our previous coverage, Guzman's Facebook page remained online for quite a while after her arrest and featured numerous stunning shots of the young woman, including this one....
...and this one....
...as well as an image of her onstage with a microphone wearing a "Hello Kitty" shirt:
These pics stand in stark contrast to the narrative of the Arapahoe County arrest affidavit in the case. The report states that Aurora police dispatch received a 911 call just past 10 p.m. on August 28 from Ryan Hoy, Guzman's stepfather.
He told the operator that Guzman and his wife, 47-year-old Yun-Mi Hoy, were inside the bathroom of the residence at 2624 South Lima Street -- and he could see blood coming under the door.
Ryan added that police had been called earlier in the day because of ongoing strife between Guzman and her mom -- and 7News revealed that the girl's father, Robert Guzman, had spoken to her about her "teen rebelliousness" about three hours before the 911 call.
"I went to talk to her because her mother was worried and wanted me to talk to Isabella," Robert told the station. "So, I went to talk to Isabella and we sat down in the backyard looking at the trees and the animals and I started to talk to her about the respect that people should have for their parents. And I was trying to let her know that she should be obedient to her parents, not rebellious, that she should try to listen more and everything was going fine.
"In the conversation, I thought that I made progress," he added. "But obviously it didn't do nothing, because hours later, this thing happened."
Ryan was still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher as he tried to open the bathroom door, which had been locked shut. He subsequently told the operator that his wife was lying dead -- her body was near a baseball bat -- and Guzman, wearing a pink sports bra and turquoise shorts, was holding a knife.
As Guzman fled, Ryan attempted to revive his wife, but to no avail. Not only had her throat been slashed, but she'd been repeatedly stabbed. By the coroner's original count (one we now know represented only about half of the total), she suffered 31 stab wounds to the face and an additional 48 to her neck.
Guzman was thought to have still been in the vicinity when cops rolled up, but she managed to elude capture, at least for a while. At 11:30 a.m. the next day, as we reported, officers were called to a parking garage at 2851 South Parker Road on a report of a body inside a car. Fortunately, no body was found, but police say they located items that seemed to have links to the previous evening's violence.
Once investigators made a connection to the Guzman homicide, more cops arrived and began to canvass the area. Then, someone spotted Guzman trying to walk out of the garage. But as indicated by the photo above, taken from a nearby building, she didn't get far. She was taken into custody formally charged with first-degree murder.
As part of the process that followed, Guzman underwent extensive psychological examination, and in court yesterday, 7News quotes Dr. Richard Pounds as saying she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
"There were obvious signs of hallucinating," Pounds said. "She was staring into space, having conversations with people who were not present, and she was laughing at herself."
On the day of the killings, 9News adds, Guzman became convinced that her mother was an "evil being" who had to be killed in order to save the world.
Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, who continues to pursue the death penalty in the Aurora theater shooting case more than a year after gunman James Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, accepted the doctors' opinion when it came to Guzman, just as the judge in the case did.
"These are tough decisions on their face," Brauchler told 7News, "because you have someone who committed such a violent act of murder against a completely innocent and defenseless woman. Her mother was in the shower when she stabbed her 151 times. But, we're not in the business of just locking up everybody who has transgressed the law.... We punish people who make decisions to do wrong when they knew better and could have done something differently."
Guzman will be treated at the state hospital in Pueblo, with her release to be determined by her medical condition.
Look below to see a 7News report from last year, Guzman's booking photo and the arrest affidavit.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Mile High Murder archive circa September 3: "Photos: Isabella Guzman stabbed mom 79 times, affidavit says."