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Published: Tuesday, 5/11/2004

East Toledoan guilty in death of ex-girlfriend

An East Toledo man who slashed and stabbed his 18-year-old girlfriend to death after she broke off their relationship was convicted yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Joseph A. Amador, 21, of 269 Steel St., entered a guilty plea to the reduced charge of murder. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

Prosecutors said Amador slashed the throat of Christina Deal of Oregon. She was found Sept. 28 in a vacant industrial park off Wynn Road, near Corduroy Road, in Oregon.

Amador, who was found guilty by Judge James Jensen, will be sentenced May 19.

J. Christopher Anderson, an assistant county prosecutor, said Ms. Deal suffered two slash wounds on her neck and had defensive wounds on her arm and thumb. She also was stabbed in the shoulder and in the back.

A gym bag containing surgical gloves, the knife used in the stabbing, and the defendant's shoes, shirt, and trousers, which all were stained with the victim's blood, was found at Amador's home.

The courtroom was packed with spectators nearly equally divided among family and friends of Ms. Deal, who was the mother of a 17-month-old boy, and relatives of the defendant.

In entering his plea, Amador did not provide details of what led him to kill Ms. Deal. However, Mr. Anderson said the victim had broken off their relationship, and she was seen several hours earlier not wearing his engagement ring.

Gary Deal, the victim's father, said the murder was a tragedy for the families of his daughter and Amador.

"The fact is this should not have happened. My family lost their daughter. His family has also lost their son. The difference is that they will be able to visit [Amador] in prison," Mr. Deal said.

Amador, who was arrested several hours after the murder, initially told police Ms. Deal pulled a knife from her purse and accidentally stabbed herself during a struggle.

But Mr. Anderson said Ms. Deal's wounds were inconsistent with his statement.

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