Tragic Details About Susan Cabot's 1986 Killing

Timothy Scott Roman’s murder trial began in May 1989, with his attorneys going for an insanity defense, claiming that the experimental drugs Susan Cabot gave to her son led to his violent mood swings (per the Los Angeles Times). “Mr. Roman is probably, really, an experiment of the human race,” his attorney Chester Leo Smith said during a court hearing (via the Los Angeles Times). The defense also alleged Susan Cabot’s emotional instability and overprotective nature contributed to Roman’s behavior. A month into the trial, Judge Darlene E. Schempp granted the defendant a mistrial after one of his attorneys was hospitalized with “stress-related heart problems,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

A second trial before the same judge — but without a jury — ended with Schempp convicting Roman of involuntary manslaughter and giving him a sentence of three years of probation. In court, the judge pointed to testimony about Cabot’s depression and suicidal ideation in the days before her death and the deplorable state of her home. “It was beyond my imagination that a person of such success and notoriety at one time could live in such indescribable conditions,” Schempp said in court, per the Los Angeles Times.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

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