Actress Susan Cabot’s Life Was Mercilessly Taken at 59 by Her Only Son Who Accused Her of Attacking First
Actress Susan Cabot enjoyed a stellar career in the 50s when she played a series of leading roles, but the following years were years of decline until her tragic death at the hands of her son.
While Susan Cabot was undoubtedly a renowned actress, her parenting skills were sometimes questioned. By the time her son murdered her, judges had pointed out their horrible living conditions as a possible reason.
The trial and prosecution of the son of the B-movie actress were widely considered dramatic as they gathered widespread interest. Here is what happened.
THE MOTHER AND SON
By the time she was 59, Cabot had appeared in low-budget 1950s films such as "Wasp Woman," "Machine Gun Kelly" alongside Charles Bronson, and "Tomahawk" with Rock Hudson, early in their careers.
Her son, Timothy Scott Roman, was born a dwarf and according to his legal team, the various medical attempt to boost his growth left him mentally challenged as the drugs had their effect on him.
On December 10, 1986, Cabot’s body was found lifeless in her home, which she shared with her then 23-year-old son, Roman, who called the police to report her death.
At first, Roman explained that he had been beaten unconscious by a man he said was dressed as a ninja warrior, and by the time he was awake, he found his mom dead on the floor.
Although his legal team admitted that his story was made up in a bid to cover his tracks, they pointed out that the 23-year-old had no intention of killing his mom but was forced into the act.
In the trial that followed her death, the defense team argued that Cabot might have been partly responsible for her untimely death as she was said to instigate the violence that caused Roman to land the deadly blow on her.
However, in his testimony, Roman confessed that his mom had first attacked him with the weapon he used in killing her.
Roman was charged with murder and faced the possibility of a few years behind bars for his mother’s death, but his legal team cited his mental state as a possible reason he should walk away as a free man.
Roman’s first attorney, Chester Smith, maintained that Cabot’s son suffered from the condition of his birth and the overbearing nature of his mom, but the case headed to a mistrial because Smith became sick.
The defense team hoped that by citing the untidy home where the late actress and her son lived, they could prove that she was mentally unstable to raise a child and consider her parenting abusive.
Cabot was said to have subjected her son to drugs with severe side complications while trying to boost his growth by a few inches which were said to have triggered a series of concerns in the young man.
There were speculations that Roman also suffered behavioral complexities such as mood swings caused by the heavy medications he was subjected to. However, his legal team described him as an experiment that went wrong.
Records showed that Roman did not have issues with his academics as long as he had his medications. He excelled in various subjects but was unable to do the most basic calculations without his drugs.
Using his mental state as his defense, Roman’s legal team sought to absolve him of any ill-feeling or premeditation that resulted in the death of his mom to aid him to avoid the maximum sentence.
THE IMAGE OF CABOT
During the trial, Cabot, who was once romantically linked to Jordan’s King Hussein, was painted as an actress who was past her glory days and was battling the pain of a low income and a series of personal challenges.
Her living conditions led to a series of mental breakdowns. It caused her to live a withdrawn and reclusive life with her young son, who had to bear the pain of her suffering, according to his legal team.
The last few days of her life were said to have been spent in intense paranoia and depression, which at some point proved frightening for her young son.
Reports noted that Cabot confessed to her therapist that she wanted to die on the day of her death. All these were arguments that Roman’s defense team put out to state his innocence.
FIRST DEGREE MURDER
Despite the defense team's claims, the prosecutors argued that the circumstances of the crime resulted in first-degree murder. Moreover, the horrible nature of her death showed maliciousness and pain, the prosecutors argued.
Despite his earlier reports of an intruder, detectives noted that the main clue that led Roman to be named a chief suspect was found in his room, where two giant dogs refused officers to gain entrance and search it.
Once detectives could access the room, the alleged murder weapon was found, concealed in a box. Also, prosecutors argued that Roman suffered a minor level of injuries compared to his mom, who lost her life in the supposed battle with the Ninja warrior.
THE POSSIBLE FEUD.
According to reports, the police alleged that Roman and Cabot might have been involved in an ongoing feud which was not clear, but the feud seemed to cost Cabot her life.
Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Darlene E. Schempp, who presided over the 6-day non-jury trial, remarked that there was no doubt that Roman loved his mother. The decision was described as a tough call for the judge to make.
His family, including his grandmother, described the sentence as relieving, noting that the trial had been a difficult experience for their family. Still, nonetheless, they were glad that Roman did not face the full wrath of the law, which would have been life in prison.
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