SAN JOSE (BCN) — A 49-year-old woman was convicted Tuesday for the murder of a mentally disabled man in San Jose, prosecutors said.
Regina Butler killed 69-year-old Stanley Jacobson by stabbing him 34 times on Feb. 7, 2013, at Hilltop Manor, a low-income apartment community for seniors at 790 Ironwood Drive, because she was allegedly after his Social Security money, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Charles Huang said.
Butler faces a possible sentence of life in prison, prosecutors said.
Huang said Butler may have tried to conceal Jacobson’s death by stuffing evidence such as clothing and his wallet into a hamper. Butler came back for the wallet when she was arrested March 7, 2013.
Huang believes Butler sought to access Jacobson’s Social Security money via an ATM after Jacobson’s monthly check was deposited on March 1.
Jacobson befriended Butler, who was homeless, and he faced eviction because she stayed with him too long, prosecutors said.
The murder took place the same day the eviction notice came, Huang said.
Butler fled in Jacobson’s car after hiding his body under a mattress in his apartment and placing a giant teddy bear on top, according to prosecutors.
Butler tried to mask the odor of the decaying body by leaving out raw chicken parts, prosecutors said.
Jacobson’s step-granddaughter Christina Bauer said her grandfather thought his eviction started the same day the eviction notice came and Bauer thought he and Butler had left the apartment together.
Bauer said she didn’t even think her grandfather had been murdered but thought was a missing person.
Bauer searched 72 homeless camps for her grandfather with flyers and traded dog food, cigarettes and dollar bills to get information.
The body was found when Bauer discovered Butler returning for the wallet that March 7, prosecutors said.
The jury deliberated for only an hour before convicting Butler, according to prosecutors.
She will be back in court Thursday for a trial to prove any prior strike convictions, prosecutors said.
Her sentencing will be at a later date, Huang said.