Woman gets 4 years for daughter's death

January 7, 2009 5:08:15 PM PST
A Vacaville woman was sentenced to four years in state prison this morning for the involuntary manslaughter of her 11-year-old daughter.

Ana Maria Corral was convicted last month after a trial in Solano County Superior Court. Her attorney Denis Honeychurch argued during the trial that Corral suffers from "delusional disorder of the persecutory type," a mental health disease he said could be treated.

Solano County Deputy District Attorney Julie Underwood said she asked Judge William Harrison to impose the maximum four-year term and Honeychurch asked for a two-year sentence.

Underwood said with credit for 1,425 days served since June, 2, 2006, Corral will spend 30-35 days in prison. She argued during the trial that Corral intended to kill her daughter.

After the nine-day trial over six weeks, a Solano County jury found Corral not guilty of first and second-degree murder but guilty of the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Corral, 45, pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity in the poisoning death of her daughter at their home on June 1, 2006. She later withdrew her not guilty by reason of insanity plea.

Corral believed she had terminal cancer and that "shadow people" in her attic wanted to kill her and her family, Honeychurch said.

She believed the acebuterol medication used to treat high blood pressure and an irregular heart rate and sleeping pills would put her and her daughter into a deep sleep and the shadow people would pass by them, Honeychurch said during the trial.

Her daughter Jennifer died after taking the medication and Corral was arrested June 2 for murder by giving her a deadly overdose of the medication.

Honeychurch argued during trial that Corral's mental disease made her incapable of pre-meditated, malicious murder. He said 10 doctors agreed she was psychotic.

"It was an overwhelming case in terms of the truth," Honeychurch said.

Underwood conceded Corral had mental health issues but she argued during the trial that Corral was still capable of acting deliberately and with pre-meditation with the intention of killing herself and her daughter. This afternoon she said she hopes Corral gets mental health treatment upon her release from prison.

Honeychurch was not immediately available for comment today on the sentencing.