Worcester man gets life for killing mother, leaving body under Christmas tree

John Madulka pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, meaning he could get paroled in 15 years.

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing his mother and leaving her body under the family Christmas tree has been sentenced to life in prison.

John Madulka, 28, of Worcester had been scheduled for a jury trial on a first-degree murder charge in the beating and stabbing death of Ellen Madulka, 56, in December 2017, but instead pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, meaning he could get paroled in 15 years.

His lawyer, Michael Hussey, had raised an insanity defense and would have produced expert testimony that Madulka suffered from schizophrenia and lacked criminal responsibility for his actions due to a mental disease or defect had the case gone to trial, according to The Telegram & Gazette.

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Hussey told the judge that his client was pleading guilty because he believed it was in his best interests and his family’s best interests.

After killing his mother, Madulka told his father and went to a nearby coffee shop, where police later found him.

Madulka’s parents were divorced, and Madulka had told his father that he and his mother were not getting along and that she had asked him to move out, prosecutors said.

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