Monday, October 18, 2021

People v. Smith (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 14, 2021)

Sometimes you read opinions in the Court of Appeal and just think:  "Man, I'm so, so glad that's not me."  Sure, we've all got problems.  Maybe your job's not all that fun.  Maybe it'd be more awesome if your kids listened to you a bit more on occasion.  Whatever.

But at least this isn't your life, right?

Anne Smith has a child, Linde.  Linde has a problem with, inter alia, depression.  So even though Linde is an adult, at some point, she moves back in with her mother.  Like any parent would, Anne gets concerned when she realizes that Linde is sleeping like 18 hours a day.  That's not right.  Worried, Anne calls Linde's therapist.  Anne also mentions that Linde seems interested in hoarding, especially as regards clothes.

In short, Anne's worried about her child.  Totally appropriate, totally normal.

Here's what happens next.  (To be clear:  Anne is the mother, and "Smith" is the daughter, Linde):

"The next afternoon, Smith called 9-1-1 and told the operator that she had killed her mother. Smith told the operator, “We had a terrible fight, and I killed her with a hammer.” After Smith told the operator that the killing had taken place the prior day, the operator asked Smith why she had waited so long to call 9-1-1. Smith responded, “I just freaked out, and I was just trying to, I don’t know, I was trying to sleep and pretend it didn’t happen.” When asked by the operator what the argument was about, Smith said that her mother was “gonna give all my clothes away.” . . .

When police arrived, they found Anne’s body in the living room. There was a hammer close to her body. Portions of Anne’s skull were on the ground, eight to ten feet from her body, and her brain matter was exposed in the areas where the skull was missing. Anne suffered eight lacerations in the area above her left ear and behind her forehead, as well as extensive skull fractures and injuries to the brain. . . . In addition to fatal head injuries, Anne had a number of defensive injuries consisting of lacerations and contusions on both forearms and on one of her hands, as well as fractures to her left wrist and forearm. Smith suffered no physical injuries. 

Shortly after her arrest, while in a patrol car, Smith told a detective at the scene, “I killed my mom.”"


Imagine going out this way; at the hands of your own daughter, and in a brutal fashion, no less.

Not good.