UNITED STATES NEWS

Pennsylvania mom convicted of strangling 11-year-old son, now faces life sentence

Feb 15, 2024, 12:07 PM

HORSHAM, Pa. (AP) — A mother who strangled her 11-year-old son at their Pennsylvania home last year and then went to New Jersey where she drove her SUV into the ocean has been convicted of murder.

Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead, 51, of Horsham, faces a mandatory life term when she’s sentenced Friday. She was found guilty Thursday following a bench trial.

DiRienzo-Whitehead’s lawyers argued she strangled her son, Matthew Whitehead, with a belt on April 10 because she was having a psychotic break due to financial concerns and family issues, and felt she was sparing her son a painful life. A defense expert testified DiRienzo-Whitehead was suffering from depression and mental illness at the time.

Montgomery County prosecutors argued the killing was premeditated, saying she had made numerous online searches on how to strangle someone and did research on mental illnesses that lead women to kill their own children. They also said DiRienzo-Whitehead blamed her husband for the family’s financial issues and was motivated to kill by a mix of anger and revenge.

After killing her son, DiRienzo-Whitehead drove to Cape May, New Jersey, where her SUV was found partially submerged in the ocean. She was later found walking in nearby Wildwood Crest, where she was taken into custody.

United States News

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares track Wall Street’s retreat

Shares retreated Thursday in Asia after U.S. stocks fell under the weight of higher yields in the bond market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average giving up more than 400 points. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 benchmark shed 1.3% to 38,054.13 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 1.4% to 18,217.83. The Shanghai Composite index gave […]

16 minutes ago

Associated Press

Jurors in Trump’s hush money trial zero in on testimony of key witnesses as deliberations resume

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury in Donald Trump’s hush money trial is to resume deliberations Thursday after asking to rehear potentially crucial testimony about the alleged hush money scheme at the heart of the history-making case. The 12-person jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours on Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Besides asking to […]

3 hours ago

Alito...

Associated Press

Alito rejects calls to quit Supreme Court cases on Trump and Jan. 6 because of flag controversies

Justice Samuel Alito is rejecting calls to step aside from Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and Jan. 6 defendants, saying his wife hoisted the two controversial flags that flew above their homes.

5 hours ago

Nissan...

Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s embattled police chief has been dismissed, Mayor Bruce Harrel said Wednesday. Harrell said at a news conference that he met with Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday and they agreed Diaz should step down. He will work on special assignments for the mayor with the police department, Harrell said. Diaz’s departure […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Disneyland performers’ vote to unionize is certified by federal labor officials

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Character and parade performers at Disneyland in California are officially unionized. Federal labor officials said Wednesday that they’ve certified the results of a three-day election that took place earlier this month in Anaheim. Actors’ Equity Association will represent roughly 1,700 performers and assistants who help bring Disney’s popular characters to life […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Pennsylvania mom convicted of strangling 11-year-old son, now faces life sentence