A former Pasadena firefighter, Michael Burton, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his estranged wife in a Rancho Cucamonga court. Burton faces up to 12 years in prison following the guilty verdict. While prosecutors charged Burton with first degree murder, the jurors who deliberated five hours felt that manslaughter was the more reasonable charge.
Burton and his wife were in the process of a contentious divorce, however resided in the same home pending their divorce. When Burton's wife Otilia Burton arrived home after a night out, an argument ensued and according to Burton, Otilia struck him in the chest and in an effort to defend himself, Burton grabbed the sword and stabbed her.
After the stabbing, Burton contacted Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff deputies and when authorities arrived, they found Burton had injuries to his hands and what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds to his neck. Burton had also attempted an overdose. Burton was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries.
Burton's Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney successfully argued self-defense to the jury and this is what spared Burton a life sentence.