San Diego police

Man Sent to Prison for Beating Mother 30+ Times With Copper Pipe

Police arrested Theodore Guenther at a nearby park and booked him on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with force likely to cause great bodily injury.

A mentally ill man who viciously attacked his 69-year-old mother with a pair of metal pipes at their Mira Mesa home was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years and four months in state prison.

Theodore Charles Guenther, 37, pleaded guilty in August to attempted murder and burglary.

His mother told Judge Polly Shamoon that the defendant has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disease and has two brain tumors.

Cynthia Guenther asked the judge to send her son to a facility where he can get long-term care and psychiatric treatment.

She said her son completely broke down in 2015, refusing to take his medication and started acting out.

"It's tragic, because he was a good fellow,'' she told the judge.

On July 19, 2017, the defendant -- who was on probation for vandalism in a case where he threatened his mother a year earlier -- squirted her in the face with a garden hose at their home on Capcano Road. She told him to stop or she was going to call the police, said Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello.

Something the victim said to the defendant set him off, and he starting beating her in the head with one of the foot-and-a-half-long pipes, the prosecutor said.

She was hit more than 30 times in the face and head.

"You beat her viciously,'' Shamoon told the defendant.

The only words Guenther said during the attack were "devil'' and "evil,'' his mother said.

The victim tried to get in the house and call police, but her son took the phone from her and tried to break her neck when they went to the ground, Pirrello said.

The defendant left when his mother played dead, according to the prosecutor.

The woman managed to call 911 from a house phone.

Police arrested Guenther at a nearby park and booked him on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with force likely to cause great bodily injury.  

Contact Us