REPORT: California Man Claims Self-Defense After Allegedly Beheading Ex-Girlfriend With Samurai Sword


Devan Bugbee Contributor
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A California man accused of beheading his wife with a samurai sword told ABC7 on Thursday he was acting in self-defense.

Jose Raphael Solano, 33, of San Carlos claimed his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Karina Castro, threatened him with a knife she retrieved from her Volkswagon before he swung a samurai sword at her head, he told ABC7’s Dan Noyes in an exclusive interview.

Solano’s attorney previously called into question whether he was competent to stand trial on account of his diagnosed schizophrenia, but a judge deemed Solano capable, according to the outlet. Following the judge’s decision, Noyes met with Solano, who goes by Rafa, for an interview at the San Mateo County Jail.

Solano told Noyes he felt unhappy with how Castro’s father and grandmother previously portrayed him to ABC7.

“He is a diagnosed schizophrenic on meds. And he would use that as an excuse for his behavior. He drank excessively and you’re not supposed to do that on those kinds of medications,” Castro’s grandmother, Danielle Gannon, told the outlet. Solano has reportedly been struggling with schizophrenia since he was a teen. (RELATED: REPORT: Man Beheads Woman With Sword In California)

Tensions between the exes had reportedly escalated hours before what authorities are calling a decapitation in a fiery Snapchat exchange. Castro threatened to slander Solano over social media for a statutory rape charge he received 10 years prior, according to ABC7. Solano allegedly responded to the message, calling her “snitch lips” and saying, “fuck around and find out.” He had been upset with Castro since she started seeing another man, the outlet reported.

Police arrested Solano at roughly 11:50 a.m. Sept. 8 after he severed Castro’s head near the Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue intersection, KNTV initially reported.