Man Gets Probation for Killing His Father

Times Staff Writer

A young Glendale man found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the killing his father was sentenced Friday to three years on probation by a Pasadena Superior Court judge.

Under terms of the probation, Arnel Salvatierra, 20, promised to undergo regular psychiatric counseling. Salvatierra was 17 when he shot his father, Oscar.

Salvatierra's sentencing had been delayed for almost three months after his attorneys requested time for three psychologists to examine him. Under California law, a minor convicted in Superior Court must be examined by a court-approved diagnostic expert before he can be sentenced to prison.

Salvatierra has been free on his own recognizance since Dec. 30, when a jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter, the lesser of two charges in the shooting. He was acquitted of first-degree murder.

After the sentencing hearing before Judge Gilbert C. Alston, Salvatierra's attorney, Marcia Morrissey, called the sentence "appropriate." She said the 2 1/2 years her client spent in custody in Juvenile Hall in Eastlake had rehabilitated him.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Wondries, who prosecuted the case, called Salvatierra "a very dangerous kid." She said Salvatierra only began receiving counseling four months ago, when he was released from custody.

"Arnel has made a great deal of progress, but Arnel is a long way from being rehabilitated," Wondries said. "All the experts agree that Arnel needs intensive psychological counseling."

The January, 1986, slaying of Oscar Salvatierra attracted international attention when it was disclosed that, on the day before his death, he had received a written death threat. Police at first suggested that the threat might be related to the Filipino newspaper he worked for being critical of then-President Ferdinand Marcos. But authorities later disclosed that his son had made the threat.

During his three-week trial, Arnel Salvatierra testified that his father had abused him. He admitted that he had planned the slaying for weeks before shooting his father in the head while he was sleeping in the family's north Glendale home.

Living With Mother

Arnel Salvatierra has been living with his mother, two sisters and a brother since January and is a student at a Los Angeles-area college, Morrissey said. She would not disclose the name of the college.

On April 7, Theresa K. DeBurger of Glendale--Arnel Salvatierra's then-girlfriend, who was accused of hiding the clothing he wore when he killed his father--was sentenced to two years' probation and fined $715. Last year, DeBurger pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact in the slaying.

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