The 77-year-old woman's grandchildren were sleeping in a room next door during the slaying, according to charging documents. The slain woman was the artistic administrator at the Tacoma Opera.
A 49-year-old Tacoma man beat his mother to death with a liquor bottle while his two sons slept in the room next door, prosecutors say.
Sebastian Samuel Levy-Aldrete, 49, was charged Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court with second-degree murder for allegedly using the bottle to club his mother in the face and head, according to prosecutors. He also strangled her.
He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $2 million.
According to charging documents, Levy-Aldrete called 911 at 5:30 a.m. Monday and reported that his mother, Maria Aldrete-Levy, the artistic administrator of the Tacoma Opera, had been killed in her secured penthouse apartment at 1 St. Helens Avenue by an intruder.
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Police and prosecutors say that Levy-Aldrete claimed he woke to the sound of his 77-year-old mother screaming, ran toward her room and tried to grab a person who escaped after bending back Levy-Aldrete’s thumb.
He said he found his mother bleeding from the middle of her neck and tried to save her by applying pressure to the wound, charging documents say.
But police did not believe the son’s account, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
“Officer’s noted that (Levy-Aldrete) was sweating profusely, seemed nervous, and had superficial cuts on his forehead and face,” the statement said. “He also had dried blood on the palms of his hands. There was blood on his T-shirt, including areas that were covered by the sweatshirt he was wearing when he spoke with police.”
The medical examiner determined Levy had blunt-force injuries to her head and face and a fractured larynx but no bleeding injury on her neck, prosecutors say. A broken, jagged bottle of liquor was on the floor near her body, police said.
Levy-Aldrete’s two sons were apparently sleeping in a room next to their grandmother’s and did not wake during the slaying, prosecutors say.