SAN DIEGO - A 65-year-old woman who shot her son-in-law more than a dozen times at their Fallbrook home after he criticized her attire was convicted Monday of first-degree murder.
Cynthia Cdebaca faces 50 years to life in prison when she is sentenced March 23 in the Feb. 11, 2014, killing of 53-year-old Geoward Eustaquio. Jurors deliberated over parts of three days before returning their verdict.
Around 8 a.m. the day of the killing, the two were alone in his home -- getting ready to go to a spelling bee for his daughter -- when he made a snide remark about her clothing and told her to change, according to Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe.
Cdebaca went upstairs to her "granny flat" adjacent to the residence and retrieved a .38-caliber, five-shot revolver and shot Eustaquio five times in the backyard, the prosecutor said.
When the victim didn't die, Cdebaca went to her car and reloaded her gun, then went back and shot him five more times, the prosecutor said.
Eustaquio crawled inside the home but was shot at five more times by his mother-in-law after she reloaded the gun again, Watanabe told the jury. All but three of the 15 shots she fired struck the victim, he said. Cdebaca went to a Denny's restaurant for breakfast, gambled at a casino, then went to her favorite coffee shop, where she was arrested, the prosecutor said.
The defendant told authorities that her son-in-law was abusive toward his wife and children and that they had put up with him for 13 years.
Defense attorney William Stone said Cdebaca "snapped" after seeing her daughter and grandchildren abused. The defendant told detectives that she shot Eustaquio to protect her family from him, and Stone asked jurors to find Cdebaca guilty of manslaughter.