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Santa Barbara Man Pleads Guilty to 2014 Murder of Ex-Girlfriend

Aubrey Wadford will be sentenced to 16 years to life in prison in Santa Barbara Superior Court next month

A Santa Barbara man has pled guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend 2-1/2 years after she was found stabbed to death in her Los Olivos Street apartment.

Aubrey Dupree Wadford will be sentenced next month to 16 years to life behind bars, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

He also admitted the special allegation of using a deadly weapon to murder Angela Laskey in October 2014, the office said.

Wadford’s jury trial started last week in Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Police found Laskey face down in her apartment on the 500 block of West Los Olivos Street with multiple stab wounds after a neighbor heard screaming and called 9-1-1, authorities have said in court.

Wadford was at the apartment with blood on his hands and clothes, but appeared “calm and content,” police said.

Wadford and Laskey, both 39 at the time, had a daughter together, who was 2 years old at the time and was found unhurt in another room of the apartment.

During the trial’s opening statements last week, Wadford’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Mindi Boulet, said that the couple’s routine arguments had escalated that night into a physical struggle that resulted in Wadford stabbing Laskey multiple times.

Boulet characterized Wadford as a dedicated father who was often over at Laskey’s to look after their daughter, and occasionally remained intimate with Laskey.

She said their intensifying arguments, his belief that her new relationship would not last, and Laskey’s intention to move back to her native United Kingdom with their daughter caused Wadford to panic when he woke up from a nap next to their daughter to find her gone from his side.

In her statements, prosecutor Hannah Lucy described Wadford as jealous and controlling, saying that his arguments with Laskey became increasingly confrontational and physical after she found a new boyfriend.

Wadford’s sentencing will be on May 26 in Judge Brian Hill's courtroom in Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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