By Stacie Guevara
SACRAMENTO, CA – Defendant Robert Mudd pleaded no contest to felony elder abuse here in Sacramento County Superior Court Thursday after a family spat at his parents’ house turned into a full-fledged, knife-wielding fight.
Mudd, who was charged with beating and threatening an 80-year-old brother-in-law, was sentenced to 180 days Sheriff’s Work Project, two year formal probation, a 100-yard stayaway order from his parents’ house and an order to seek and obtain professional counseling.
Mudd had already been issued a restraining order after the incident occurred May 11. Though the only person in court that was present at the scene of the crime was Mudd himself, his sister had sent a detailed letter to the court of the events that took place that day.
Mudd’s sister had visited to help her parents and the letter read: “Typically, I go over to my parents’ alone. However, as the days and weeks have gone by, I have become increasingly more uncomfortable going over there alone, never knowing what mood my brother may be in, or if there’s going to be anger or hostility…”
She noted in the letter Mudd was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and severe OCD approximately one year ago, and “that is why, on this particular day, I asked my 80-year-old husband to go with me.”
When Mudd’s sister and her husband arrived at the house, Mudd was already in a bad mood, she said. Soon after they got there, with Mudd’s constant pestering, a fight broke out between Mudd and his brother-in-law. Mudd had blood on his lips and he pulled out a knife, allegedly.
Mudd’s sister called the police, but tried getting out of the house along with her husband.
The letter read, “This is when my brother approached me with a knife in his hand, waving it back and forth. I remember saying as calm as I could, ‘Bobby, I need you to get that knife away from me.’”
The letter read, “I heard my brother yell at my husband, ‘I’m going to kill you, old man…’ I saw my husband in the midst of falling to the ground. And then I saw my brother full-swing kick my husband in the side three times.”
The police arrived within minutes and arrested Mudd. The victim was taken to the emergency room, where he received treatment.
“I would like the court and my brother to know that I am now the conservator over my parents. During my brother’s time living at my parents’ home, my parents, unbeknownst to all, were unable to make their own decisions. While living there, room and board were free. He has abused all privileges (and) had known neighborhood drug users and dealers,” the letter read.
The letter stated Mudd has had multiple 911 calls against him, multiple Adult Protective Service cases and Kaiser psychiatry records noting elder abuse. Mudd’s sister said in the letter this was not the first time her brother has wielded a knife and that he had a collection of knives found around random places in their home.
“I’d also like the court and my brother to know that we understand that he needs help. His entire family would love nothing more than for him to return to his (old) self,” the letter read. Mudd’s sister wanted him to receive anger management training and attend church services, counseling and a residential drug addiction program.
After the prosecutor read the letter aloud, Judge Geoffrey Goodman sentenced Mudd.
Judge Goodman added, “It’s an important condition… that you seek and obtain professional counseling or treatment through or under the direction of probation.”
Mudd was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim for any losses.
Before the case ended, Judge Goodman said a final word to Mudd, “I really encourage you to take advantage of the generosity of your family and go to that residential treatment program.”