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Published: Friday, 2/23/2007

Wife gets 16 years to life for killing therapist husband in Calif.


MARTINEZ, Calif. A woman who fatally stabbed her millionaire psychotherapist husband, whom she met as a 14-year-old girl in treatment, was sentenced today to 16 years to life in prison for murder.

Susan Polk received the maximum sentence after acting as her own lawyer in a trial permeated with theatrics, including discussion of her psychic powers and cross-examination of her own sons. An attorney representing her today said she planned to appeal.

The 49-year-old suburban housewife was convicted in June of second-degree murder in the October 2002 killing of Felix Polk, 70, at the couple s home in Orinda, a wealthy town east of San Francisco.

Polk said she killed her husband in self-defense after years of abuse and said authorities fabricated and suppressed evidence in the case.

She testified that she seized a kitchen knife from her husband during an attack near their swimming pool and used it to stab him. But prosecutors said she had no wounds to indicate she was protecting herself and Felix Polk had more than a dozen stab wounds.

Jurors in the case did not find Polk credible and one referred to her as delusional. While testifying, Polk discussed secret government experiments and claimed that her psychic powers enabled her to predict the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on World Trade Center, but said her husband prevented her from alerting authorities.

Under cross-examination from his mother, Adam Polk said she was bonkers and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, referring to a breakfast cereal catch phrase.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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