Tustin Octogenarian Pleads Guilty to Killing Girlfriend, Gets Probation

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - An 80-year-old man who pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend in Tustin was placed on five years probation, a prosecutor said today.  

Charles Bennett Stockwell was charged Sept. 20 with murder, but he accepted a plea bargain Monday, admitting a felony count of voluntary manslaughter, according to court records. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison, but the prison term was suspended and he was placed on five years of formal probation, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis.  

Stockwell killed 73-year-old Donna Amelotte of Tustin, according to Sgt. Todd Hylton of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.  

Stockwell called Tustin police on Sept. 16 to report that his girlfriend was dead and that he had stabbed himself, according to Lt. Stephanie Nichols of the Tustin Police Department. When officers arrived they found the victim's body and took the suspect to a hospital.  

Guirguis said the killing was part of a botched plan for a mercy killing and suicide.  

Stockwell is prohibited from benefiting from her death financially and cannot collect on a pension or life insurance, the prosecutor said. Stockwell also owes $14,000 in restitution and must reside in a skilled nursing facility approved by probation officials, he added.  

The victim's family approved of the plea deal, Guirguis said.  

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