A mom who asked her young son to poison his father had her conviction overturned in a Washington court after it was determined that a “mother’s love” was priceless.
Valdiglesias LaValle was found guilty of trying to solicit her young son to slip rat poison into his father’s wine in 2020, but the appeals court ruled that there is no price on a “mother’s love” and therefore she did not solicit murder according to Washington State law.
Vanessa Valdiglesias LaValle and Timothy Grady met online through a dating app. The couple were married and had two children together.
The marriage dissolved within six years. Grady was physically abusive in the home, which caused a major divide. Despite the accusations, he was awarded custody of the children in 2019. At the time, LaValle was only allowed four hours of unsupervised visitation per week.
The Washington Court of Appeals overturned Vanessa Valdiglesias LaValle’s conviction for soliciting to kill her former husband. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison when she was initially found guilty of the solicitation crime.
The three Court of Appeals Division 1 judges ruled that Valdiglesias LaValle’s desire to be with her two children forever doesn’t equate to a “thing of value” necessary to support a criminal solicitation conviction.
Valdiglesias LaValle’s attorney said the judges reached the right decision because how one defines ‘solicitation’ can be wildly over-inclusive.
The father suggested that his son secretly record the conversation using a phone hidden under a blanket, according to court documents. During the conversation, the mother tried to convince her young boy that slipping poison to his father would be good. She tried to convince the 10-year-old that doing so would let her be with her kids instead of her ex-husband.