SAN DIEGO–A pathologist was sentenced Thursday to 25 years-to-life in state prison for the murder of his wife.
David Patrick Ditto,44, was found guilty of first-degree murder of his wife Karina in October of last year.
“Today’s sentence brings a measure of closure and justice to the victim’s family in Mexico. The unsung heroes in this case were the firefighters, the paramedics, the nurses and the doctors who recognized that Karina Ditto was the victim of a brutal crime and had the integrity to stand up for her,” said DA Dumanis.
Ditto called 911 in March of 2011. When paramedics arrived, they found Karina Ditto’s lifeless body on the floor, bleeding from the back of her head. Ditto, who worked as a supervisor at a University of California San Diego hematology lab, had contended his wife fell down a set of stairs in their Mira Mesa home.
Paramedics found her body lying to one side of the foot of the staircase. She had bruises all over her body, including a patterned mark on one thigh that looked like the bottom of a shoe. David Ditto had fresh scratches on his face.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Claudine Ruiz presented evidence that showed Ditto beat and repeatedly kicked his wife. When paramedics arrived, he told them his wife had been down for about two minutes, but the evidence indicated she had been down much longer. Ditto had waited to call 911 so he could clean up the crime scene and figure out what to do next. Months before his wife’s death, Ditto took out an accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy on his wife.
“Karina’s family put their trust in our judicial system and today their prayers are with Karina’s two children,” Ruiz said.
Ditto’s trial began in front of San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So on September 15th and the jury began deliberations on October 20th. A verdict was announced one day later and read in open court on October 24th.
“Deputy DA Ruiz did an excellent job of presenting this case to the jury, including the compelling evidence that led to the defendant’s conviction and today’s lengthy sentence,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.