Man who killed his mother in their Tierrasanta home sentenced to - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man who killed his mother in their Tierrasanta home sentenced to life term

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An ex-con who beat his mother to death in the home they shared in Tierrasanta was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in state prison.

Dale Edward Robinson, 55, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the June 30 death of 78-year-old Joan Claire Robinson. He also admitted prior convictions for arson and battery.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello said the defendant had a history of mental illness and may have been intoxicated at the time of the attack, after which he got behind the wheel of a car and sideswiped another vehicle on northbound Interstate 15 near Centre City Parkway in Escondido. Robinson suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs in the crash.

His mother's death came to light two days later, when other family members found her bloodied body in a home on Tinasa Way. The woman, known in the neighborhood for making plaster flowers that were shown in Little Italy, died of blunt-force injuries.

"I still can't wrap my brain about what's happened," the victim's daughter-in-law said.

Cynthia Robinson said her children had a special bond with their grandmother, who liked to cook with them and work in the garden.

"Dale, I tried not to be angry with you but it's hard," she said, criticizing the defendant for drinking and doing drugs while he was on anti-psychotic medication.

Jodi Robinson Osborn told her brother that she loved him and forgave him.

"You weren't in your right mind when you snapped," she said. "You took away my best friend and your best friend. Your horrific acts tore out our hearts."

The defendant's aunt, Mary Robinson, said in a letter to the court that "the drugs and schizophrenia turned Dale's life into a nightmare."

Judge Laura Halgren said the victim's family clearly expressed how much she was loved.

"It's really a tragedy that her life was cut short by her son," the judge said.

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