knife in silhouette
Example of a knife, not the one in story. Photo via Pixabay

A 32-year-old mentally ill son pleaded guilty Tuesday to the 2010 slasher killing of his mother — his “biggest advocate” — in the board-and-care facility she ran in Santa Ana.

As part of the plea deal, the killer son was immediately sentenced to a state mental health facility indefinitely.

Marvin Horatio Cipullo accepted the plea deal that convicts him of second- degree murder and attempted murder with a sentencing enhancement for premeditation and deliberation, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett sentenced Cipullo to 15 years to life in state prison on the murder charge. Then he found the defendant was not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity, which allows for authorities to place him in a state mental health facility indefinitely.

If Cipullo’s sanity is declared restored, he will be sent to state prison to serve out his punishment for the murder of his mother, 57-year-old Rebecca Garcia on Sept. 30, 2010, Simmons said.

Given that Cipullo has been in custody since October 2010 he would have about another five years to serve before he would be given a parole hearing, Simmons said.

“It was the right disposition for everybody,” Simmons said.

Cipullo would not have received the mental health care that he needs in state prison, and if he is restored to sanity then he will have to convince a parole board he is suitable for release, Simmons noted.

Cipullo, who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and with bipolar disorder, has significant mental health issues and is likely to spend the rest of his life in a mental health facility, Simmons said.

The victim suffered an injury to the back of her head, a footprint on her face and was stabbed in the neck, Simmons said.

Cipullo “had a history of violent conflicts with his mom and grandmother,” Simmons said.

The defendant lived with his mom, grandmother and younger brother at the board-and-care facility at 1909 W. Carlton Place that the victim ran for about two decades.

Because of the violent conflicts with his mother, she had him sent to a state mental health facility and he was later placed in a halfway house, Simmons said.

“She was his biggest advocate,” Simmons said. “It’s a sad case, really sad case.”

Cipullo’s brother found his mother’s body about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2010, and called 911. Cipullo was arrested Oct. 2, 2010, walking around Santa Ana when someone recognized him from media reports and phoned police.

The plea deal came just as attorneys were preparing for jury selection in the case. Cipullo was initially charged with first-degree murder and his attorney was preparing to argue his client was insane at the time of the killing.

–City News Service

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