Man sent to halfway house in case of mom's death

Man sent to halfway house in case of mom's death

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A man who pleaded guilty and mentally ill last year to a charge of manslaughter in the 2005 death of his 72-year-old mother has been sent to a halfway house.

Third District Judge Randall Skanchy on Monday also put Matthew Alex Kirkham, 37, on probation.

Prosecutors had argued that Kirkham, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, should get prison for the protection of the community because a halfway house ultimately tries to prepare people to live independently in the community.

Kirkham's mother died after she was hit in the head with a rock and smothered in a plastic bag filled with paint fumes. After her death, 15 of her ribs were fractured and her spinal column severed.

Mental health experts said Kirkham lacked the ability to form the intent to kill.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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