Murderer mom gets maximum sentence

A San Francisco mother who killed her 3-year-old daughter and caused permanent damage to her 4-year-old son in a botched suicide attempt received the maximum sentence for the crime Tuesday.

Linda Woo, 43, executed an elaborate suicide plan on March 29, 2006. She took her daughter, Olive, and son into the garage of her Ingleside Heights home, told them they were going on a camping trip, and lit a portable barbecue inside a car in the garage.

Woo and her son survived when a friend found them and called 911, but the carbon monoxide fumes killed her daughter and left her son with brain injuries.

Judge Cynthia Ming-Mei Lee sentenced Woo to 25 years to life in state prison for first-degree murder and life in state prison for attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, according to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

Woo pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Her attorney, Stuart Hanlon, claimed she had a long history of depression that drove her to suicide with the children she loved. A jury rejected those claims, however, in a second phase of the trial.

The Ingleside Heights resident was a married woman who had ended a romantic affair with a Tennessee man shortly before the suicide attempt. Prosecutors claimed that killing herself and the children was a deliberate act to manipulate her lover.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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