Man Sentenced to Prison for Murdering His Father

A Van Nuys man convicted of beating his 71-year-old father with bodybuilding weights and killing him was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison.

Ross Harvey De Spenza, 42, who acted as his own attorney and told jurors during his trial that he was the son of God, was sentenced by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge James M. Coleman for second-degree murder in the death of his father, Ross De Spenza. The convicted man’s sister, Laurie Wood of Monterey, tearfully asked the judge to keep her brother in prison forever.

De Spenza was convicted last month of killing his father April 14, 1990, when the older man came to De Spenza’s house to pick him up for a family outing. The victim was struck several times with five-pound plates from a weight set. De Spenza then sat on his father’s chest, asphyxiating him.