Donaldson, 81, wrote that she needed her daughter's help. She also feared Terie Davidson didn't have anywhere else to go. She claimed that her daughter, who is living with mental illness, had stabilized with medication.
Davidson on Monday was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her mother's murder.
The Bothell woman has said that she doesn't remember fatally clobbering her mother with heavy drinking mug on Oct. 27, 2012. She pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder. Davidson, 43, did not admit responsibility for the slaying, but acknowledged that a jury likely would convict her based on the evidence.
Her attorney told the judge that Davidson isn't trying to escape her responsibility. She simply can't remember what happened, said Donald Wackerman, a lawyer with the Snohomish County Public Defender Association.
"She understands that she took away the one person who always had been there for her as a support," Wackerman said.
Davidson has a long history of mental illness.
She also assaulted her mother in the past. Under the law, Davidson's two prior misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence assaults added about two years to her prison sentence.
The victim's other children asked that Davidson be given a lengthier sentence. Relatives wrote the judge, saying that Davidson hasn't shown any remorse for killing the elderly woman, and attempts to justify her actions.
Davidson declined to address Superior Court Judge George Appel on Thursday before he handed down her sentence.
The judge said he was "struck by the depth of the tragedy this case represents."
He agreed to follow the sentence recommendation made by both sides, giving Davidson a low-end term.
Appel also ordered that the defendant be evaluated by a mental health professional, seek treatment and take any prescribed medications. He warned Davidson that she would face additional penalties if she didn't follow his orders.
Davidson called 911 last year, first asking to be taken to a psychiatric hospital. When police officers arrived she asked them to take her to jail, saying "it's really bad."
Officers found Donaldson inside, dying from a head wound. The 4-foot 10-inch, 80-pound woman was bludgeoned repeatedly with a heavy mug. She died inside an ambulance outside her home.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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