Ohio woman Heidi Michelle Matheny, 35, was sentenced on Wednesday to 15 year to life in prison for drowning her grandmother Alice J. Matheny, 93.
Defense lawyer Gractia S. Hubler noted her client served 121 days behind bars as of Wednesday.
“Ms. Matheny has no criminal history as an adult, save one Disorderly Conduct conviction (stemming from an incident involving her mother, who also apparently suffers from mental illness),” the attorney wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Ms. Matheny has been ready and willing to take responsibility for her actions since the night of this incident.”
Matheny pleaded guilty on March 3.
As seen on body camera footage, she admitted to drowning her grandmother.
“I feel like I put the dog down,” she told a responding Eaton police officer in the Preble County Sheriff’s Office lobby on Nov. 15.
Alice Matheny had been doing the dishes. Heidi Matheny claimed to have approached from behind and forced her grandmother’s head into the kitchen sink before putting her body on the couch. Then, believing Alice Matheny could still be alive, Heidi Matheny filled the bathtub and drowned her there for what she felt was 15 minutes.
“I just put her head in the sink, and held it there,” she said on body camera footage. “We fought, but I held it there until she quit blowing bubbles, and then I drug her to the couch, and she kept blowing bubbles, so I put her in the bathtub until she stopped.”
The responding officer asked what lead to this.
“Nothing special,” defendant Matheny said. “It’s just a day like any other day.”
She said, however, that they took Alice Matheny on Nov. 14 to a doctor, who said they could put the 93-year-old into a nursing home. It was what Alice Matheny wanted.
“But we can’t afford that,” defendant Matheny said, detailing financial problems and conflict within the family. “It’s a f—— nightmare. And I’m sick of seeing her. She’s stressed out. She has panic attacks every damn day. She shouldn’t have to live like that.”
Asked why she killed her grandmother, Heidi Matheny said that Alice Matheny called her every day, asking her to sit and listen with her.“And I do it every day,” she said but added that she couldn’t do it anymore.
In the memorandum, Hubler highlighted Matheny going to the sheriff’s office by herself and confessing.
“Ms. Matheny has a long history of mental illness and instability,” the attorney wrote. “She confessed to law enforcement that she just ‘snapped’ under the pressure of trying to help care for the victim, whom she described as a perfect grandmother. Ms. Matheny had an increasingly difficult time listening to her grandmother lament about the street caused by the family arguing over financial issues and other concerns. It appears that this pressure/stress felt by Ms. Matheny when listening to these things, coupled with her mental illness(es), resulted in the unthinkable. Ms. Matheny has expressed nothing but remorse for her actions since the outset of this case.”
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