The sentencing phase of the trial for a Silsbee man charged with murder opened Tuesday in Hardin County’s 356th District Court, in Kountze.
Joseph Anthony Latulas, 42, was charged with fatally stabbing Wendi Warner, 44, on January 10, 2016.
Latulas waived trial and pleaded guilty in May, moving on to sentencing on a charge of murder on July 31.
Prosecutors described Warner as a loving daughter, mother, and grandmother who died from stab wounds and blunt force trauma.
Two years ago, the couple were living in a guest cabin behind her parents home on the morning of January 10, when Joyce Warner saw Latulas run from the cabin.
“I saw Joe run from the house around 10 am,” she said.
Concerned about her daughter she asked her husband Samuel to check on Wendi. Inside the cabin the young woman was found lying in a pool of her own blood.
Hardin County Deputies caught to Latulas walking on the highway outside of town.
Latulas claimed he stabbed the woman in self-defense, according to a probable cause statement taken at the time of his arrest.
Warner was stabbed during a violent quarrel with Latulas, who stated she “had placed the knife near his throat.”
He took the knife, stabbed her multiple times, and ran from the home, deputies reported.
Keep up with the Lumberton Ledger for proceedings in this sentencing.