'You Devastated Your Entire Family’: Calif. Man Sentenced for Murdering Mom with Hammer
David McGee, 26, killed his mother in 2017 and told authorities he was angry she brought him into the world
A California man who murdered his mother with a claw hammer after ingesting a massive amount of allergy medicine has been sentenced to 26 years to life in prison, PEOPLE confirms.
On Wednesday, just before he was sentenced in the beating death of mother Rebecca “Becky” Apodaca, 55, in February 2017, David McGee Jr., 26, of Escondido, apologized for killing her, multiple outlets report.
“Nothing will ever bring her back,” he said, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “I’m so sorry for what I have done.”
McGee, who had claimed he heard a voice telling him to kill his mom, tearfully begged the judge for mercy.
“I’m not asking you to let me go or anything, just let me see freedom again one day so that I can make up for what I’ve done,” he said, local station KWSB reports. “I’m sorry.”
The apology, the judge said, didn’t change the “finality of the decision you made,” local station KNSD reports. “You devastated your entire family.”
The judge sentenced McGee, who was convicted in May, to 25 years to life in prison for first-degree murder and one year in prison for the use of a hammer, online court records show. He was also ordered to pay a restitution fine of $10,000.
In Feb. 1, 2017, McGee’s sister, Rebecca Apodaca-Smith, found their mom unconscious and covered in blood, Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said during the trial, KWSB reports. She checked on her mom because Apodaca hadn’t logged into work or responded to messages.
Apodaca-Smith found her brother hiding in a closet, naked and bloodied and with self-inflicted knife wounds on his arms, wrists and across his neck in a failed suicide attempt, The Union-Tribune reports.
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In the bathroom she found an empty bottle of allergy medicine and a toaster near the sink that was plugged in, the prosecutor said, the newspaper reports.
McGee had a high level of an over-the-counter allergy medicine in his blood indicating that he could have ingested 100 or more 25mg pills, the prosecutor said.
McGee told police that he was “depressed and broken” and blamed his mother for bringing him into the world, The Union-Tribune reports. He claimed he “heard a voice” telling him to harm her, Watanabe said, KWSB reports.
McGee’s attorney argued at trial that McGee had overdosed on generic antihistamines, taking at least 80 allergy pills, local station KNBC reports. The attack, Deputy Public Defender Lindsay Itzhaki said, happened in “a fog of Benadryl.”
“The truth is on Feb. 1, 2017, David did kill his mom. But there is a difference between killing and murder,” Itzhaki said, KTLA reports.
Before her brother was sentenced, Apodaca-Smith told the court, “I know my mother would forgive him. I forgive him. I know that my grandmother forgives him. My father — my family,” The Union-Tribune reports.
PEOPLE’s call for comment to McGee’s attorney was not immediately returned.