A state appeals court panel on Monday, Sept. 18, upheld a woman’s conviction for fatally stabbing her boyfriend in 2019 after an argument at a Lake Los Angeles home.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that Melissa Buranasombati had tried to discharge her retained attorney as the prosecution neared the end of its case in her trial and a dispute ensued between the two over whether she should testify in her own defense.
“Defendant’s challenges lack merit because she never requested self-representation or new counsel, whether appointed or retained,” the appellate court justices wrote in the 12-page ruling.
Buranasombati, now 35, was convicted of second-degree murder with a knife use allegation for the April 9, 2019, slaying of Edward Cole.
The panel noted that the Buranasombati’s son testified that he saw her take a knife from the kitchen before going to the garage, and that a friend of Buranasombati saw her “swing” at Cole, causing Cole to bleed from his chest. Cole was pronounced dead at a hospital from a stab wound to the chest.
“Defendant’s former boyfriend testified that in the past, defendant had attacked him multiple times, including with a knife, gun, scissors, fork, or baseball bat,” according to the appellate court panel’s ruling.
Buranasombati was arrested that day by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies. She was sentenced in April 2022 to 16 years to life in state prison.
Previous related stories: