SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 24-year-old man was convicted Thursday of beating his mother, a veteran state Department of Corrections officer, to death with a baseball bat in Anaheim.
Seth Allen White was convicted of second-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. Jurors, who rejected first-degree murder, deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours.
White faces 16 years to life in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced April 20.
White beat 59-year-old Karen Patrice White on May 23, 2017, but she lingered in a coma for 11 months and died on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018.
Police were called about 8:45 p.m. the night of the beating when neighbors reported "screams and horrible things" coming from the residence at 5810 E. La Palma Ave. in the Friendly Village Mobile Home Park, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Dave Porter in a trial brief.
Neighbors told police they saw the defendant leaving the home with a baseball bat and attempting to drive away in a minivan but he couldn't get it started, so he jumped on his skateboard and rolled away, Porter said. The neighbor said they heard three to eight "loud thumps" coming from the residence, he added.
Seth White recorded a short video on his cell phone with a close up of his mother's face, unconscious, Porter said. In the video he is heard saying, "Sleepy time she comes."
The defendant's ex-girlfriend said White called her, saying he attacked "Karen," Porter said. The defendant also sent text messages to his friends that he killed his mother, the prosecutor said.
On May 8, 2017, he sent a text message to another friend saying he wanted to kill his mother.
White also called 911 saying, "I just committed an act of assault, possible, um possible manslaughter," according to Porter.
The defendant told the police dispatcher, "I hit her a lot of times with the bat and I don't know if she's alive, but she was asleep when I left," according to Porter.
When officers arrived at the victim's home they found her bleeding profusely from her head and face, Porter said. She was missing a front tooth, he added.
The victim was not expected to last through the night as she was treated for multiple skull fractures and bleeding from the brain, Porter said. She never regained consciousness before dying.
After White repeatedly beat her over the head and face with the weapon, he kicked her in the mouth, Porter said.