Skip to content

Not guilty plea in deaths of Lancaster children

An infant girl was found dead, along with a young girl suffering from moderate injuries, on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway in the Culver City area today, and authorities said their discovery may be tied to a Woodland Hills homicide and a Redondo Beach fatal crash.


A third child is attacked

A man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered his two young children and attacked another child at a home in Lancaster.
Prospero Guadalupe Serna, now 39, was charged on Oct. 31, 2023 with two counts each of murder and assault on a child under 8 causing death and one count each of attempted murder and child abuse.
The criminal complaint includes the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, along with allegations that he personally used a sharp object during the commission of the crime, personally inflicted great bodily injury on a child under 5 years old, and that he has a prior conviction from 2017 for unlawfully causing a fire of a structure or forest land.
Serna allegedly attacked three of his children, killing two of them, while he was in the residence with his four children and their mother on Oct. 28, 2023 according to a statement issued last year by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Sheriff's deputies were dispatched at about 11:50 p.m. that night involving a call of children "being harmed at the location” in the 1800 block of East Avenue J-2, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies discovered that two of the children had been beaten and stabbed to death, and two other children–including one who was injured–were found hiding in the residence, according to the District Attorney's Office. The dead children were subsequently identified as Serna's 7-year-old daughter, Ziasia, and 3-year-old daughter, Najila.
Serna was detained a few blocks away, authorities said.
“Prospero Serna, the father of the children, was initially detained as a person of interest in the case,” the sheriff's department said in a statement. “Homicide detectives determined there was sufficient evidence to arrest Prospero Serna for the crimes of murder and child abuse.”
He remains jailed without bail while awaiting his next court appearance June 26. A date is scheduled to be set then for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence against him to allow the case to proceed to trial.
Serna could face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 25 years if he is convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office.