MEDIA, Pa. — A woman who killed her disabled son, allegedly because she was despondent over setbacks in his intensive therapy program, was sentenced today to five years of probation and 750 hours of community service.
Common Pleas Judge William Lipsitt said he decided on the sentence for Irene Bernstein in the shooting death of her 2-year-old son, Eric, after "some soul-searching" because as a judge he could not condone murder.
But he said of conflicting psychologists' reports on Bernstein's frame of mind, "We know that psychology is not an exact science and, in the law, there are no absolutes either."
Bernstein, 41, had pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of third-degree murder. She faced up to a 20-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine.