Murder conviction upheld for man who killed mom with homemade spear

    Murder conviction upheld for man who killed mom with homemade spear

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — An appeals court this week upheld the murder conviction of a Bakersfield man who admitted smoking methamphetamine before killing his mother with a homemade spear, mistakenly believing he needed to defend himself.

    5th District Court of Appeal judges rejected Donte Issac’s argument he acted without malice and in imperfect self-defense due to his “purely delusional” belief. He’ll continue to serve a life term in prison.

    The appeals court did, however, rule there wasn’t enough evidence to support the trial court’s finding that a previous conviction for discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner constituted a serious felony enhancement. That finding was reversed; prosecutors can retry it.

    Issac, 33, admitted stabbing his mother, Stephanie Mylette Body, on Aug. 24, 2020, with a spear he fashioned by tying a butcher knife to a broomstick. He spent hours smoking meth beforehand at their apartment on Coventry Drive, near Valley Plaza mall.

    Court filings detailed the attack and Issac’s statements to police.

    Issac placed his then-4-year-old daughter in a bathroom before he entered a bedroom and twice stabbed Body in the chest — one stab wound hit a lung, the other her heart. Body, 53, grabbed the knife and ripped it off the spear during the attack. She died within minutes.

    Afterward, Issac called 911 and reported he had been taken hostage but killed his captor — whom he claimed stole him from his biological mother when he was a baby. He later told police he smoked meth and marijuana every day for “energy.”

    Police found Body dead in the bedroom, a bloody knife lying nearby with cloth and wire wrapped around it. The blood-stained broomstick was in another room.

    In 2022, a jury convicted Issac of second-degree murder and child cruelty. He was sentenced to 41 years to life in prison.

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