Man accused of beheading ex-gf will stand trial

1 min read

A San Carlos woman’s accused killer will stand murder trial. 

Jose “Rafa” Solano Landaeta, 34, of Hayward, is accused of beheading his ex-girlfriend with a samurai sword in front of multiple witnesses on September 8, 2022. 

The victim, Katrina Castro, 27, was a mother of two daughters. Landaeta was the father of her youngest. 

On Tuesday, a San Mateo county judge received reports from two doctors who determined that Landaeta was sane when he allegedly beheaded and killed Castro. 

The murder trial is scheduled to begin on October 27.

Landaeta has pleaded not guilty because of insanity.

Victim Katrina Castro

On the day of the gruesome homicide, Castro’s young daughters were inside her apartment when Landaeta confronted his ex-girlfriend outside on Laurel Street. 

According to investigators, a heated argument occurred and he slashed Castro several times with a sword. 

Landaeta remains in a Redwood City jail with no bail, inmate records show. He will return to court on September 12 for a pretrial conference.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.