Woman allegedly killed boyfriend with hammer; arrested on torture, homicide charges

Special to The Bee

A Porterville man died Tuesday afternoon after his girlfriend attacked him with a hammer, then tried to cover up her crime, Porterville police said.

The woman, Rosa Ramirez Baca, 51, was arrested and charged with murder, torture, using a deadly weapon, causing “great bodily injury” to her boyfriend, and domestic violence, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office reported Wednesday.

Porterville police said Baca initially told officers that her boyfriend of 16 months, Jose Magana, 38, had just returned home after being assaulted at an unknown location when they responded to their home around 8:35 a.m. Monday on the 200 block of South Indiana Street.

Magana was transported to a local trauma center for “major injuries to his entire body” and was place on life support.

Detectives said they determined Baca was the suspect after their investigation revealed “several inconsistencies” in the initial statement she provided.

“After further investigation, detectives determined Ms. Baca had assaulted Mr. Magana with a hammer until he became unresponsive,” Porterville police said. “The evidence also supported that Ms. Baca waited several hours to seek medical aid for the victim and attempted to dispose of evidence linking her to the assault.”

Baca was arraigned Wednesday and will return to Tulare County Superior Court on Dec. 27 for a preliminary hearing. She is being held without bail.

Carmen George is a features and news reporter for The Fresno Bee. Her stories have been recognized with Best of the West, George F. Gruner, and McClatchy President’s awards, and nine first or second place awards from the California News Publishers Association. She has a passion for sharing people’s stories to highlight issues and promote greater understanding.