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September 18, 2021

Aptos woman pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

SANTA CRUZ—An Aptos woman who stabbed her husband to death during a domestic fight in 2019 pleaded guilty in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on May 18 to involuntary manslaughter.

Amanda Owens also admitted to using a deadly weapon during the crime.

She is set to be sentenced on Aug. 26. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, Assistant District Attorney Jason Gill said Monday.

In accepting the charge, Owens avoided a more serious murder charge that carried a possible 25-year prison term.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the couple’s residence on the 100 block of Victoria Lane at 12:55pm on Aug. 24, 2019 for a report of a stabbing.

When they arrived they found 63-year-old Thomas Owens suffering from several stab wounds. Paramedics treated him, but he died at the scene.

Prosecutors said the fight began as a verbal confrontation that escalated.

Owens’ attorney George Gigarjian said that Owens called 911 after the attack and performed lifesaving techniques while she waited for paramedics to arrive.

Gigarjian, says that he has documented a relationship marked by increasing incidents of domestic violence before the attack, and that she was defending herself.

“This was a tragic event,” he said. “Amanda never intended to kill her husband, and the plea of involuntary manslaughter reflects that.”

While the decision of sentence will be up to a judge, Gigarjian says that the more serious punishment is not warranted in this case.

“This is a probation case, not a prison case,” he said.

[This story has been updated from an earlier version with comments from attorney George Gigarjian. — Editor]

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