Irvine Wife Beater Loses Appeal of His Domestic Violence Convictions

In Nov. 2007, Alexander Turla Saplala didn't like that his wife called his sister a "cunt" and a "nosy bitch" during a telephone conversation and so the Irvine man broke her nose and teeth, and cut her face and lips with kicks and punches.

Saplala--who'd beaten his wife on at least one prior occasion--then drove to Dana Point, swallowed 100 Tylenol pills and fell asleep in his vehicle, according to court records.

Police found him semiconscious and transported him to a hospital. There, he told a cop that he'd pummeled his wife and concluded, "Officer, I ruined my life, didn't I?"

A his July 2010 trial, an Orange County jury found him guilty of committing mayhem, aggravated assault and domestic battery. Jurors also determined that his violence caused great bodily injury to his wife. Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen sentenced him to prison.

Saplala appealed his convictions, claiming that jurors should not have heard his admissions to police at the hospital because he'd been tricked to make the statements by promises of leniency and that he'd been mentally unstable at the time.

This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered and rejected Saplala's arguments. The justices concluded that he'd voluntarily made the admissions. They also determined that police investigators didn't promise him leniency to coax him into talking.

Upshot: For beating the crap out of his wife, the 49-year-old Saplala will continue to serve his five-year prison sentence in a rural Oklahoma prison.

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