SANTA ANA (CBS/AP) — A 43-year-old woman was sentenced Thursday to 40 years to life in prison for plotting a botched Mother’s Day murder-suicide of her family that left her husband dead and one of her two sons wounded.
Annamaria Gana was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in April.
Prosecutors say she shot a bullet into the ceiling of the family’s Tustin home in 2011, prompting her 72-year-old husband, Antonio Potenciano Gana, and teenage son to rush in.
Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said she then opened fire on her husband, shooting him in the chest. Sixteen-year-old Jose “Tony” Gana was shot in the arm.
The woman’s 9-year-old son, Alfonso, is credited with wrestling the handgun from her possession before he escaped.
When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found the defendant in the bedroom cradling her husband and crying as she admitted shooting the victim, Baytieh said.
Prosecutors say Gana intended to kill her whole family.
During the trial, defense attorney Edward Shkolnikov argued that his client’s breast cancer affected her “state of mind.”
Shkolnikov argued that Gana was deeply depressed following a double mastectomy and had been affected by chemotherapy medications. He said a failing business also contributed to her depression.
Baytieh at the time of the conviction said the first-degree murder verdicts were justified.
“Your heart can break for people who are depressed, but murder-suicide should never be an acceptable way of dealing with those feelings,” he said. “As a society, morally and legally murder-suicide should never be an option.”
The Gana sons are being cared for by a family member.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)