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Celeste Simone CARRINGTON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: January 26/March 11, 1992
Date of arrest: March 20, 1992
Date of birth: 1961
Victim profile: Victor Esparza, 34 / Carolyn Gleason, 36
Method of murder: Shooting (.357 magnum revolver)
Location: San Mateo County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 23, 1994

Supreme Court of California

The People v. Celeste Simone Carrington

Carrington, Celeste Simone:  Black; age 30 at crimes; murders (during burglaries) of Latin male age 34 on 1-26-1992 in San Carlos and of white female age 36 on 3-11-1992 in Palo Alto; sentenced on 11-23-1994.

Sentenced to death on Nov 23, 1994 for the murders of a Hispanic man aged 34 on Jan 26, 1992 in San Carlos and a Hispanic woman aged 36 on Mar 11, 1192 in Palo Alto during burglaries. A third robbery victim, shot by Carrington three times, survived and testified against her. Carrington claimed that her lover forced her to commit the crimes so that she could give him money.


Rare death sentence for woman is upheld

By Bob Egelko -

July 28, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO -- The state Supreme Court upheld the death sentence Monday of an East Palo Alto woman who killed two people execution-style and wounded a third in 1992 robberies of buildings where she had worked as a janitor.

Celeste Carrington, 47, is one of only 15 women among 683 condemned prisoners in California.

The justices unanimously rejected defense arguments that police had illegally searched her apartment and had extracted her confession with false promises of leniency. Her lawyers have another appeal pending, claiming that Carrington's trial defense was incompetent.

Carrington was raised in poverty in Philadelphia and was abused by both parents and impregnated by her father at age 14, according to defense testimony. She eventually attended a community college in Southern California and starred in track and field, competing internationally in the shot put.

She had no criminal record before the murders but had been fired from her job as a janitor in December 1991 for stealing checks. Witnesses at her trial said she had been providing financial support for her partner and the woman's three children.

Carrington admitted fatally shooting Victor Esparza, 34, a janitor at a shoe factory in San Carlos, in January 1992, and Caroline Gleason, 36, a property manager at a real estate office in Palo Alto, in another robbery two months later, police said. Five days after killing Gleason, she shot and wounded Allan Marks, a Redwood City pediatrician, during a robbery of his office, authorities said.

Carrington told police she had gone to all three offices with a stolen gun and keys she had kept from her work as a janitor.

Gleason was on her knees before Carrington when she was shot, and Esparza was either kneeling or standing, with no evidence that he was resisting, medical examiners found.

In her appeal, Carrington's lawyers argued that Palo Alto police had illegally searched her apartment and obtained evidence that led to her confessions.

Officers from Palo Alto accompanied Los Altos police, who had a warrant to look for evidence of two burglaries. When Palo Alto police saw a key and a pager connected to Gleason's killing in plain view, the court said, they stopped the search, went back to court and got a warrant to look for evidence of the murder.

Even if the Palo Alto police were there on a pretext, Chief Justice Ronald George said in Monday's ruling, they were entitled to be present at a legitimate burglary search and acted properly by not touching anything until they obtained another warrant.

George also said the police interrogation, in which one detective told Carrington that Gleason's shooting was "probably an accident" and another officer suggested that Carrington had nothing to lose by admitting to Esparza's murder, did not amount to promises of leniency that would make the confessions involuntary.


Celeste Simone Carrington


Celeste Simone Carrington


Celeste Simone Carrington



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