Annamaria Gana, Who Killed Husband, Tried to Kill Sons on Mother's Day, Gets 40 Years to Life
Annamaria Magno Gana, who fatally shot her husband and tried to do the same to their two boys in their Tustin Ranch home on Mother's Day 2011, was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison. The 43-year-old received a cancer diagnosis that caused her to take out her 72-year-old husband, a retired Manila International Airport general manager, and to try to murder her sons, who were 16 and 9 then.
Annamaria Gana Guilty of Murdering Husband and Trying to Kill Sons Due to Cancer Diagnosis
A jury found her guilty April 3 of one felony count each of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, two felony counts of attempted murder, and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury.
She would have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole had Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh not moved to reduce the murder conviction to second-degree and remove the special circumstance, giving the defendant a slim chance at parole decades from now. The prosecutor explained he did so at the request of one of Gana's sons so he could tell him "there's hope,'' although "minimal,'' that she will be free one day.
Antonio Gana, R.I.P.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, 2011, a gunshot was heard in the Gana home in the 18400 block of Manning Drive in unincorporated Tustin. Antonio Potenciano Gana and his teen son Jose rushed into a bedroom to discover their wife/mother had fired a round into the ceiling. She then turned the gun on her husband, said "Now!" and shot him in the chest.
As Jose turned to run, he was shot in the arm, but he managed to get out of the room and call 9-1-1 on his cell phone. The younger son, Alfonso, who is the hero of this tragedy, managed to wrestle the gun away from his mother and take it outside.
Antonio Potenciano Gana, 2011 OC Homicide No. 15: Allegedly Shot By Wife Accused of Also Shooting Son on Mother's Day
Just when it did not seem the case could get more bizarre, The Philippine Star reported four days after the shooting that Gana had converted to Islam before marrying her husband and that his first wife accused him of bigamy.
But during the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Mrs. Gana "selfishly decided to murder her family because she believed that that they couldn't live without her if she died and that if she was going to die, then they should all 'go together.'"
City News Service reporter Paul Anderson reported today on an emotional reunion between Gana, Jose, her mother and brother after Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno closed the courtroom following sentencing.