|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF0384
March 15, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
SON CHARGED WITH MURDER OF MOTHER BY REPEATEDLY HITTING HER IN HEAD WITH A SHOVEL
*Defendant was previously convicted of attempted murder in this case; victim died as a result of her injuries more than a year after the attack
SANTA ANA – A son previously convicted of attempted murder for beating his mother in the head with a shovel has been charged with the murder after the victim’s recent death as a direct result of the attack. Robert Lawrence Char, 49, Fountain Valley, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. Char is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
In June 2009, Robert Char was living with his 74-year-old mother, Joyce Char, in Fountain Valley. On June 20, 2009, Robert Char got into a verbal argument with his mother because she asked him to do some work around the house. The defendant demanded that the victim leave his room, but she refused. Robert Char became angry, grabbed a shovel, and hit his mother repeatedly in the head.
After attacking his mother, Robert Char left his residence and told a neighbor to call 911 and that he needed medical assistance. Responding officers located the victim and arrested Robert Char at the scene.
Joyce Char narrowly survived the beating and was transported to the hospital for blunt force trauma injuries to her head
Robert Char was charged June 23, 2009, for the attempted murder of his mother (case # 09WF1439). He pleaded guilty to the court July 9, 2010, to one felony count each of attempted murder, elder and dependent abuse, and resisting or delaying an officer with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury to an elder. He was sentenced to nine years in state prison that day and was subsequently sent to Vacaville State Prison.
On his guilty plea form, Robert Char admitted to the following: In Orange County, California, on “June 20, 2009, I unlawfully, with the specific intent to kill, attempted to murder Joyce C., who I knew to be 70 years of age or older, by willfully and unlawfully causing and permitting the suffering of Joyce C. During the commission of this offense I also personally used a shovel and inflicted great bodily injury on Joyce C. I also willfully and unlawfully resisted and delayed an officer from discharging his duty.”
Joyce Char remained hospitalized and unresponsive until her death in December 2010. Doctors determined that the victim died due to blunt force trauma to the head as a direct result of the attack.
Robert Char is accused of directly causing the death of Joyce Char. The defendant was charged with murder Feb. 9, 2011. He was transported back to Orange County from state prison to face the new charges.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.