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Published On: Wed, Jan 30th, 2013

Patricia Corby, California woman, sentenced to 15 years to life for drowning her autistic son, Daniel Corby, in bathtub

A woman who drowned her 4-year-old autistic son in a bathtub, then drove his lifeless body to a police substation where she admitted the crime, was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in state prison.

Patricia Corby, 37, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the death last March 31 of her son, Daniel.

Daniel Corby

Daniel Corby

Members of the victim’s family — who did not want to be identified by name — said Daniel Corby was not severely autistic and was doing well in school.

At one point during the victim impact statements, Patricia Corby begged for mercy, saying “Stop, stop” as the victim’s aunt called her evil.

“You had no right to take our little boy’s life,” Daniel’s aunt told the sobbing defendant.

The aunt said, “You did the most selfish and heinous thing. You murdered him in cold blood. Part of our hearts stopped beating the stars went out in the sky.”

She also said Daniel was probably looking down from heaven asking, “Mama, why did you kill me, when I was doing so well? … May what you did haunt you. May you feel endless guilt and grief.”

The victim’s father told his wife, “I hate you with all my heart and soul. You killed our handsome little boy who is without sin … he had an IQ of 100 … you hit him on the head and drowned Daniel … You are a selfish person. To you I say adios.”

He also said he hoped the Patricia Corby “suffers in prison.”

According to testimony at a preliminary hearing last September, Corby contemplated suicide before holding her son down in several inches of water until he was lifeless in the family’s Carmel Valley condominium.

Prosecutor Dino Paraskevopoulos told Judge Charles Gill today that Corby hit Daniel in the head before drowning him.

On two occasions before she killed her son, Corby asked the child’s godfather if he would take care of the child if she wasn’t around, the prosecutor said.

Corby’s attorney, Mel Epley, disputed the prosecutor’s contention that Corby struck her child before drowning him.

Epley said Corby loved her son very much, but she became severely depressed and wanted to kill herself.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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