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Man convicted of killing women he claimed were witches

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man was convicted Wednesday of fatally beating his girlfriend and her daughter with a hammer because he claimed the two were witches and had been casting voodoo spells on him.

Carlos Alberto Amarillo, 48, of Queens, was found guilty of murder, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child in the deaths of Estrella Castaneda, 56, and Lina Castaneda, 25. The two women were found brutally beaten in their home in January 2014.

According to trial testimony, Estrella was found “face up on the bed with a pillow over her face,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The rubber grip of a hammer was beside her body on the bed.”

Brown said Lina’s body was found in the rear bedroom “face down with injuries to her head and a hammer was on the floor beside her.” He said her 7-year-old daughter was found unharmed on the bed in her mother’s room.

Amarillo called 911 stating that “two females are dead, they were assassinated, hurry they are dead. I killed them because they are witches, I want the police to kill me. I killed them with a hammer,” according to trial testimony.

When police arrived, Amarillo was holding a Bible and told the officers the women were “witches and were performing voodoo and casting spells” on him that made him sick, Brown said.

Amarillo faces up to life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced July 6.

A message left with Amarillo’s lawyer wasn’t immediately returned.

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