Son who beat mother to death with bat gets life in prison

·1 min read

An Oregon man who beat his 74-year-old mother to death with a baseball bat has been sentenced to life in prison.

A Washington County circuit court judge on Monday sentenced 47-year-old Garth Beams, 47, of Tualatin for the 2018 killing, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Beams was convicted of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. The Washington County District Attorney’s office said in a statement that Beams will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

Prosecutors said Beams attacked author and screenwriter Wendy Jane Henson in a fit of rage. Beams was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1995 and was the subject of a conservatorship, court records said. He lived with his mother.

Tensions began escalating between them in 2018 in part because of the increasing level of care Henson needed as she aged, court records show.

On July 19, 2018, Beams struck Henson in the head with a baseball bat. He called 911 but when dispatcher asked him to render aid to Henson, he said he wasn’t interested in doing so, officials said.

Henson died at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. Officers arrested Beams that day.

Beams underwent a psychiatric evaluation at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem and was declared fit to proceed with a bench trial in 2020, according to court records.

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