A Clovis man cried Thursday when he was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for stabbing his 77-year-old mother to death a year ago.
"Taking my mother's life will haunt me for the rest of my life," Eric Tidrick said in Fresno County Superior Court.
Police said Tidrick called 911 during the early hours of Sept. 2, 2010, and told officers to come to his mother's apartment on Barstow Avenue near Villa Avenue in Clovis. "I just killed my mother," Tidrick said in the 911 call.
He pleaded no contest last month to first-degree murder in the death of LaDonna Tidrick. He also admitted he had a prior murder adjudication as a juvenile.
Prosecutors say he was involved in the killing of 19-year-old Larry Eugene Smith, a McLane High graduate, whose bludgeoned body was discovered near Millerton Lake in March 1978. Tidrick was 16 at the time Smith was killed.
During Thursday's hearing, Tidrick said his mother loved him and implored him to get help for his mental illness and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
"I'm a sick man," he told Judge Wayne Ellison.
He also apologized to his relatives in the courtroom.
"I loved my mother," he told them. "Maybe in time, the wounds will heal."
The judge said the evidence shows that Tidrick suffers from severe mental illness and that he used alcohol and illegal drugs to medicate himself.
He also said Tidrick accepted responsibility early for killing his mother when he called 911 to report her death.
"I don't think you lack remorse," Ellison told Tidrick. Ellison also said he didn't think Tidrick was "a cold-blooded killer."
But in deciding the sentence, the judge said his foremost duty was to protect society. "Those psychological conditions make you a danger to society," Ellison told the defendant.