Monday, July 26, 2010

A Man Who Kills Father, Buries In Backyard ...

Gets 15 years to life in prison, which, with three years tacked on for elder abuse, means he is up for parole in another 15 years, and it being Southern California, most likely will not get out right away.

Gerard John Gallo, 55, of Romoland, which is now the city of Menifee, represented himself in his trial for the murder of 90-year-old Joseph Gallo in August 2005.

Trial and sentencing were held in 2007.

The younger man took his father out of Mount Rubidoux Manor, a senior facility, and days later called authorities to report his father's death.

Investigators found the elder man's decomposed body buried in Gerard Gallo's backyard.

Gallo told authorities he and his father were arguing when his father fell, struck his elbow on the counter and his head on the floor.

Though his father was not breathing, he said, he did not call 911. Instead, he buried his father's body in the yard and waited more than a week to call authorities.

Gallo was convicted of second-degree murder after the judge reduced the charge from first-degree to second-degree murder.

Then prosecutor Stephen Gallon, who is now a judge, argued that Gallo, knowing his father's condition was frail because of a bad heart, struck his father and possibly even smothered him, leading to his death.

He argued that there was malice in Gallo's actions, knowing it would not take much to overpower and end the man's life.

According to testimony during an argument on a motion for a new trial, Gallo told a deputy escorting him to court, "well I killed him, but they don't know the circumstances."

A judge ruled that the deputy was not questioning Gallo and though it was not admissible as evidence, it also did not taint the trial.

During trial and at the 2007 sentencing, a Mount Rubidoux resident, Richard Burns, told a reporter that Joseph Gallo was still missed by his friends at the residence.

"When he walked into a room, the room felt full."

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