A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter for fatally feeding his husband at the Rancho San Diego couple’s home could face up to four years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
Thomas ZupnerThe 67-year-old was initially charged with second-degree murder for the death of his 62-year-old husband, Blake Sinowski, on September 17, 2019, for 11 years.
At the end of a bench trial in El Cajon, San Diego Supreme Court Judge Robert Amador ruled Monday that the evidence did not support a second-degree murder, but was sufficient to convict him of manslaughter. Zupner then pleaded guilty to murder.
The sheriff’s deputies were called around 10:15 that night at the couple’s home on Explorer Road and found the victim unresponsive. His death was confirmed at the scene.
Synowski’s cause of death was airway obstruction and mechanical suffocation, according to testimony.
Prosecutors allege that Zupner forcibly put food in his wife’s mouth during a “violent fight” in which the defendant held Sinowski.
At Zupner’s preliminary hearing, defense attorney Paul Pfingst said Synowski was suffering from various medical problems and insisted that his client was trying to save his husband by feeding him, but accidentally caused his death in the process. Pfingst said forced feeding had proven effective in the past when Synowski had not eaten before.
–City News Service, Inc.
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