attorney: woman charged with killing elderly mother mentally unfit - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Defense attorney: woman charged with fatally stabbing elderly mother mentally unfit

Claudia Warner-Gonzales Claudia Warner-Gonzales
Attorney Sam King Jr. Attorney Sam King Jr.

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police say she confessed to stabbing her elderly mother, and then asked for forgiveness. On Wednesday, the lawyer for the woman, who's now charged with murder, told an Oahu judge his client is mentally unfit.

When her case was called, the woman accused of killing her mother was nowhere to be seen. Attorney Sam King, Jr. waived her appearance in court, saying she wouldn't understand the proceedings anyway.

"Right now, she's not fit to proceed," he said. "I got a chance to talk to her yesterday at HPD and today down in cellblock. She's clearly not fit to proceed."

Claudia Warner-Gonzales, 61, is charged with second-degree murder. Her lawyer says she has a history of mental illness.

"She's not in touch with reality right now, clearly," King said.

Investigators say the suspect's brother found their mother, Dorothy Stribling, 88, with a knife lodged in her shoulder and called 911. An autopsy revealed a stab wound to the chest killed her.

According to court documents, Warner-Gonzales told police, "I stabbed my mom....forgive me, I stabbed her."

"Does she have a sense of what she has done, though, to her mom?" this reporter asked.

"You know, it's impossible to even communicate with her right now," King replied. "She, I don't think she has a sense of anything right now."

Warner-Gonzales remains in custody, unable to post $500,000 bail. Her attorney is keeping her family apprised.

"The case is very new right now, but this is something that is completely atypical of her," King said. "I mean, this is not, she's never been violent before so it clearly has something to do with her mental status."

A preliminary hearing will be held Monday, unless an Oahu grand jury indicts Warner-Gonzales before then.

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