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Socialite Betty Broderick seeks release from prison

January 21, 2010 |  7:23 am

After spending almost two decades in prison, a La Jolla socialite who killed her ex-husband and his new wife in their bed will ask a parole board to be released.

Betty Broderick, 62, was convicted of the killings in 1991 and sentenced to 32 years to life in prison. She unsuccessfully argued that the crime was the result of years of emotional abuse by her husband.

Broderick didn't deny being responsible for the Nov. 5, 1989, killings of her ex-husband, Daniel T. Broderick III, and his wife, Linda Kolkena Broderick.

She admitted firing the fatal shots but claimed that she was the victim of a husband who had been emotionally abusive and manipulative. She testified that she intended to talk to her husband and to kill herself but fired at the couple when Linda Broderick yelled, "Call the police!" and Daniel Broderick lunged for the phone.

A first trial, in 1990, ended with the jury deadlocked, 10 favoring a conviction of murder charges and two holding out for manslaughter. The second trial ended with two convictions on charges of second-degree murder.

Daniel and Betty Broderick divorced in 1985 after 16 years of marriage. During their divorce, which was not final until 1989, Betty Broderick accused her husband of using his legal influence to cheat her out of her fair share of his seven-figure annual income.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Betty Broderick is led from courtroom after being sentenced in murders of her ex-husband and his wife. Credit: Associated Press