On Tuesday, Roderick Geronimo from Vermont was sentenced to eight to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing of his mother in 2012. The 55-year-old Vermont man attacked and murdered his mom because he thought she was possessed by Satan. Roderick Geronimo pushed a table into his 82-year-old mom, used wine decanters to hit her over the head, poured water into her mouth with an aim to “cast the devil out,” and stuffed the sweater sleeve into her mouth, according to police records. Investigators say the victim, Gertrudes Alwardt, received a blunt force trauma to the head and torso as a result of this horrible incident which took her life.
The incident took place in their house in East Poultney, Vermont, where Geronimo had been taking care of his mom for four years until the day of the murder. At the time, Geronimo was not only on anti-depressants but was also regularly smoking marijuana.
While being arrested, Geronimo insisted that God had told him to act, and that he was getting messages through television.
In the course of the investigation, it became clear that Roderick Geronimo had been suffering a psychotic attack at the time of committing the crime, which is why the sentence was reduced. According to the Judge Thomas Zonay, the Department of Corrections will now decide if Geronimo needs to go to prison or undergo a correction in the community. He continued, “It will also assure that he would not be released until such time as he is deemed to not be a threat to public safety.”
The prosecution announced that they were expecting a much harsher sentence for Geronimo. Although Geronimo announced that he was very sorry for what happened, it was not easy to convince Rutland County Deputy State's Attorney Peter Bevere, who told the news, “Whether it was because God told him to do it or because he simply flipped and was in a rage, the result is the same.”