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Sparks woman pleads guilty to murdering mother
by Joshua H. Silavent
Oct 27, 2011 | 2065 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Catherine Eisley
Catherine Eisley
RENO — A Sparks woman made a surprise guilty plea Thursday morning in the murder of her elderly mother last November.

Catherine Eisley, 49, confessed to beating her mother, 70-year-old Cherry Clasen, with a baseball bat and slashing her throat twice on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2010.

Eisley called 911 to report her mother’s death several hours later and police arrived to find Clasen dead inside Eisley’s home at 2675 Nelson Way in Sparks.

Eisley was interviewed at Sparks Police headquarters and subsequently admitted responsibility for her mother’s death, according to police reports.

According to court documents, Eisley stated anger toward her mother prompted the murder. A probable cause declaration says Eisley blamed her mother for the post-traumatic stress suffered as a result of childhood abuse.

The probable cause document also states that Eisley is prescribed psychotropic medication and that “she knew what she did was wrong and illegal.”

Eisley was scheduled to go on trial Dec. 5, but it appears that when a defense motion to suppress was denied Wednesday, Eisley decided “to give up,” said Washoe County Chief District Attorney Dan Greco.

“Obviously, this is great news for our side,” Greco added.

No plea deal was made, Greco said, and Eisley faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 20 years for either a weapons or elderly victimization enhancement charge.

“The investigation by the Sparks Police Department was superb and I think this had a lot to do with why the defendant pled guilty straight-up this morning,” Greco said. “Judge (Jerome) Polaha conducted an extremely thorough canvass of the defendant. There is no doubt she knowingly … entered her guilty plea.”

Sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 19 in the Second Judicial District Court in downtown Reno.

Public defender Linda Nordvig declined to comment on the case, citing ongoing legal matters.
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