An Albuquerque man was sentenced in state District Court on Thursday to 33 years in prison for killing his mother in 2009.
Christopher Barbera, 44, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping, according to the District Attorney’s Office. State District Judge Stan Whitaker sentenced him in the death of Juanita Kranshuler on March 4, 2009.
Barbera’s mental health problems became an issue in the case, and his attorney had raised a competency question, according to the DA’s Office. But he was found competent and withdrew his insanity defense, under which he claimed voices in his head had directed him to kill his mother.
Barbera called 911 to report that he may have choked his mother to death. When police arrived at his apartment in the 100 block of 10th NW, Barbera answered the door and said: “I give up my rights to remain silent. I plead guilty to the murder of my mother,” according to a court documents.
Police found Kranshuler, 66, dead on the living room floor.
Kranshuler had reported her son missing twice — in 2004 and 2006 — according to police reports. Each time, Kranshuler told police her son was bipolar and suffering from compulsive behavior. And each time, she told police she was worried he was off his medications.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal