Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Larissa Schuster

An emotional sentencing


On May 16, 2008, Larissa Schuster was given the mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole. At that time, Judge Ellison rejected her appeal for a new trial as well. Larissa is currently serving her sentence at the women's prison in Chowchilla.

California Women's Prison in Chowchilla
California Women's Prison in Chowchilla

When Kristin walked into the courtroom to see her mother sentenced for her father's murder, it had been 5 years since the two had seen each other face-to-face. Kristin gave an angry statement, calling her mother "a demon" for taking away the father with whom Kristin had begun to reconcile with in the months before the killing: "I pray you're continually haunted at night by the sight and sound of my father fighting for his last breathing moments on this earth. I hope you toss and turn and have horrible nightmares visualizing the horrific act of violence you have committed."

Tim's mother Shirley Schuster also gave a victim-impact statement recounting the terror he endured being attacked and drenched in acid by the woman he once loved: "I can't even imagine his last hours and the pain he must have gone through. How I wish I could have been there to help him with his pain."

Seven people stood up in court to denounce Larissa for her crimes, but she never showed emotion or made a statement on her own behalf. Her attorney Roger Nuttall summarized her state of mind for the media after the hearing: "I'm not going to say she's up or down. She's accepting what she knew would happen today."

The couple's only son Tyler now lives with his maternal grandparents, Dee Ann and Charles Schuster. Kristin says the grandparents restrict her communication with her brother: "I don't know if he knows the full story," she told a reporter. Now married, Kristin has a young son who will one day ask about his grandparents. Kristin plans to tell him that his grandpa is in heaven. It is less clear what she plans to tell Aadon about Larissa; at the sentencing hearing she closed the door on her mother: "Maybe later in life I can learn to forgive you, but I doubt it. This is goodbye, not just for now, but forever. This is goodbye as your daughter."

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