Mom pleads guilty to drowning autistic son (Sam Spital)

Commentary by San Diego criminal lawyer Sam Spital:

“In the December 28, 2012 edition of the UT San Diego news, a 37 year old mother pled guilty to second degree murder for drowning her 4 year old autistic son. This is the case in which the mother drove to the police station with her lifeless infant in her car and confessed to the horrific crime shortly after the incident. The unforgivable motive for the killing seems apparent because the mother stated she had no life since she had to take care of her son. The article also revealed the mother unsuccessfully tried to drown herself.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 28th at which point the mother faces 15 years to life in state prison for drowning her son. Little is known about the mother, including her mental state, past family, employment and social history, nor who is the father of the infant child. Some of these factors may be disclosed at the time of the next hearing. These will never excuse the actions of the defendant, but often assist the court in determining the nature and extent of a sentence in a criminal case.”

 

 

82-Year-Old Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter (Sam Spital)

Commentary by CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER SAM SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES:

“In the Tuesday NBC Channel 7 online edition of the news it was reported on December 11, 2012 that an 82 year old woman pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of her long- time 57 year old friend who in a home they shared in San Diego from time to time were roommates. No motivation, mitigation, explanation or further information was reported, nor did the author of the article interview the Criminal Defense Attorney. In order for the sentencing hearing to have some value for the defendant, it is hoped the defense will look to these factors to present arguments and evidence on behalf of the real life tragedy.”

California sheriff sentenced for domestic violence

The sheriff of a major California city will spend the next three years serving a probation sentence after pleading guilty to domestic abuse in connection with a recent altercation with his wife.

According to court documents, the alleged domestic violence incident took place on New Year’s Eve, when the sheriff of San Francisco forcefully grabbed his wife’s arm during a heated argument. Last month, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment under a plea deal that included the dismissal of three other criminal charges.

Following the guilty plea, the sheriff was sentenced to three years of probation. He must also complete 100 hours of community service and 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling, and pay about $600 in fines and court fees. Under a current restraining order, he is not allowed to contact his wife until he begins his court-ordered counseling

The sheriff’s job future is also uncertain. The San Francisco mayor is reportedly assessing his options, which include suspending the sheriff for official misconduct. The sheriff says he has no plans to step down.

After his sentencing hearing, the sheriff gave a tearful statement to the waiting press, stating that the arrest and court process had been “a very public reminder that I’m not the person that I thought I was,” and admitting that he has already started counseling to deal with the issues that caused the incident.

“I deeply and humbly apologize for my behavior and the pain it caused to my wife and son. For what happened on December 31, there are no excuses,” he said. “I accept full responsibility.”