An East County woman who shot and killed her adult son during a drunken argument in their Rancho San Diego home was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in state prison.
Josephine Ring, 68, was convicted in June of second-degree murder in the Dec. 19, 2010, death of 48-year-old Vincent John Bonfiglio.
El Cajon Superior Court Judge William McGrath denied a motion to delay sentencing to allow defense attorney Jonathan Jordan to explore the possibility of filing a motion for a new trial.
"I believe the jury verdict was appropriate," the judge said, adding that he believed the prosecution had proven its case.
The victim used a cell phone to record video of his mother coming down a hallway with a loaded .357-caliber handgun, said Deputy District Attorney Curtis Ross.
On the 90-second video, Bonfiglio can be heard telling the defendant, "You're not going to shoot anybody" and "I love you, mom, we're family," while trying to wrest the gun from her.
He told his mother to back off and she fired one shot through a hallway door, striking him in the chest. He died at the scene.
Ring's husband, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, was in the living room but was oblivious to the shooting, Ross said.
Ring – whose blood-alcohol level was estimated to be between .22 and .24 percent or three times the legal limit at the time of the shooting – called 911 five minutes after the video ended, Ross said. It was not clear what mother and son were arguing about.
She was detained the night of the murder but not immediately arrested because authorities weren't sure if the shooting was accidental, self-defense or a criminal act. The loaded murder weapon was found in a closet.
Ring was taken into custody several weeks later at a health care facility in La Mesa, where she had been under a doctor's care since her son's death.
Jordan said the verdict would be appealed over a number of issues, including an instruction the judge gave to the jury after it acquitted Ring of first-degree murder.
– City News Service