Elderly Death Investigation

March 18, 2008 8:01:59 PM PDT
A surprise move in court Tuesday, Fresno County man discovered he is not facing murder charges for the death of his elderly mother.Investigators believe 68-year-old Alice Tokumoto died because her son abused her.

Byron Tokumoto went to court thinking he was going to face murder charges. But that didn't happen because the district attorney said there wasn't enough evidence. We also learned a family feud led to the elderly woman's death.

Cervantes: "He couldn't believe it. He wanted to go to his mom's funeral."

Martha Cervantes is Byron Tokumoto's former girlfriend.

She called the relationship very difficult between Alice Tokumoto and her son Byron.

Cervantes: "She's the nicest woman to him, treat him good she wanted to dominate him pretty much."

Alice's slow death began at her home in Del Rey. In late February she and her son got into an argument. The defendant's attorney said Byron threw a paint brush at his mother's head.

Roberto Dulce, Defense Attorney: "Hit his mother, and mother's head hit the ground and suffered injuries that lead to the death. I don't think that's in dispute anywhere."

Alice died two weeks later at the hospital. The district attorney cited a lack of evidence to pursue a murder charge.

Bob Ellis/Asst. District Attorney: "It will be inappropriate for me to discuss a working product but pending any further evidence, I do not believe any further charges will be filed."

Cervantes: "But he's had issues with his mom all his life."

Cervantes said the defendant suffered a major brain injury seven years ago. She believed it may have pushed Byron to react with violence.

Cervantes: "It might have helped the anger, because he was never an angry person... He never hurt anybody."

Byron Tokumoto still faces 10 years in prison if convicted on an elderly abuse charge. His attorney expects the case to settle very soon.


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