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Orange County man was sane when he strangled his mother to death, according to jurors

May 13, 2010 |  6:31 pm

An Orange County jury Thursday found a man to be sane when he strangled his 82-year-old mother to death at her home in Laguna Woods five years ago.

Ethan Emanuel Rosenfeld, 52, was convicted of first-degree murder May 5.

Prosecutors said his trial was being handled in two phases because Rosenfeld had pleaded not guilty, then pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity before his trial started.

On May 30 2005, between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., Rosenfeld killed his mother, Helen, at her Leisure World home by strangling her, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Rosenfeld, who was unemployed and lived at the home, placed his mother's body in her bed, crossed her arms across her chest and wrapped her body in a sheet, prosecutors said.

He then drove around for hours, purchasing items with his mother's credit card, before returning to the house and reporting to police that his mother had died in her sleep.

Rosenfeld faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison at his sentencing June 11.

-- Ruben Vives