Originally posted May 5, 2010 at 3:24 p.m. Updated May 13 at 6:55 p.m.See bottom of post for new info.
Let's just be glad this didn't come down on Mother's Day. Today, a 52-year-old Ethan Emanuel Rosenfeld was convicted of strangling his 82-year-old widowed mother, with whom he lived at Laguna Woods retirement community Leisure World. He's hoping to avoid prison by claiming insanity.
From the Orange County District Attorney's office:
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Between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. on May 30, 2005, Rosenfeld strangled and murdered his 82-year-old widowed mother, Helen. He put her dead body in her bed, crossed her arms across her chest, and wrapped her body in a sheet. The defendant, who was unemployed and living with his mother in her Leisure World home in Laguna Woods, then fled taking the victim's credit card and car.
Rosenfeld went to Starbucks and a gas station and tried to use his murdered mother's credit card to buy coffee and chewing tobacco. He drove around for a while before returning to the house. At approximately 10:00 a.m., Rosenfeld called 911 and claimed that he found his mother dead and that she had passed away in her sleep.
Rosenfeld entered a plea of "not guilty" and "not guilty by reason of insanity." The "not guilty" phase was completed today, resulting in Rosenfeld's conviction. Next comes a trial with the same jury as before deciding whether Rosenfeld was legally insane at the time of the murder. If he loses, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 year to life in state prison.
Update: Rosenfeld's "I was crazy" defense didn't work. Today (May 13) a jury found that Rosenfeld was sane when he strangled his mother. He'll be sentenced on June 11.