A Washington state man found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2019 stabbing and car fire death of his half-sister has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Convicted murderer David Fagundes, 42, was rebuked by Calaveras County Superior Court Judge Timothy Healy for interrupting during the sentencing hearing on Friday. The judge then sentenced Fagundes to life behind bars, plus an additional four years in prison for other charges related to the commission of the “heinous” murder.

In December 2020, a jury found Fagundes guilty of torturing and murdering his half-sister Toni Jilbert, 49, by stabbing her repeatedly in his car that was parked on a rural Copperopolis road and setting it on fire while she was still breathing inside.

Fagundes continues to deny any guilt, stating during his sentencing that he had not received his medications and had not been fit to stand trial.

“I don’t know any reason in the world (why) you’d think I’d kill my sister,” Fagundes addressed the victim’s husband, Ronald Ferreira. “I did not kill my sister.”

Ferreira and other family members of Jilbert had some strong words for Fagundes during their victim statements, calling him “the Devil” and describing his future in prison.

Jilbert had “turned her life around,” Ferreira said, in the years before her murder, beating cancer, enjoying time with her children and grandchildren, and even helping Fagundes on several occasions.

“Rot in hell,” he told Fagundes.

Father of the victim, Richard Jilbert, had nothing to say to Fagundes, but thanked the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office investigators, court officials and the jury for delivering justice in the case of his daughter.

The Fagundes murder case saw two trials, with the first in July 2020 resulting in a hung jury due to a lone hold-out.

“They did it right,” Jilbert said.

Judge Healy did not address Fagundes but told the family he was hopeful they could someday move forward.

“Toni still has family, and they need you,” Healy said.

Jilbert’s stepmother, Crystal Jilbert, responded, “We will be very involved in her children and grandchildren’s lives.”

Before being transferred to state prison, Fagundes will stand trial once more in March for assault charges he received while inside county jail.


Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

Comment Policy

Calaveras Enterprise does not actively monitor comments. However, staff does read through to assess reader interest. When abusive or foul language is used or directed toward other commenters, those comments will be deleted. If a commenter continues to use such language, that person will be blocked from commenting. We wish to foster a community of communication and a sharing of ideas, and we truly value readers' input.