Convicted largely by his dying girlfriend’s final words, a Templeton man was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years to life in prison for second-degree murder.
In January, a jury found Philip Thomas Hanes, 59, guilty of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, Tina Marie Beddow, 32, on June 4, 2014, in the home they had shared.
During the trial, Hanes testified that a delusional Beddow came at him with a knife, which accidentally plunged into Beddow during a struggle that ensued.
But as she was bleeding to death, Beddow — knowing she was dying — told both a police officer who had arrived on the scene and a 911 dispatcher that Hanes had stabbed her after an argument, according to recordings played during the trial.
Hanes stabbed Beddow in the chest so hard that the knife nicked her spine, said Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt. Still, Devitt said, Beddow had the fortitude to reveal a motive for the murder.
“Some of her last words were, ‘I was trying to leave him,’ ” Devitt said in court Wednesday.
During Hanes’ sentencing, Beddow’s mother and sister sat in the audience. The victim’s sister, Sabrina Garcia, read from a prepared statement before she was overcome with tears.
Since the murder, Garcia said, both she and her mother have had difficulty using knives. And Garcia’s daughter, she said, asks every day where Beddow is.
Although Beddow struggled with addictions, Garcia said, she was trying to work through her troubles and to reconnect with her own two children.
“Now she’ll never have a chance to fix that,” she said.
After Garcia was overcome by emotion, Devitt finished reading her statement.
“Why did she have to die?” Garcia had written. “For what? Because someone was angry?”
Garcia wrote that the murder caused her to push away her own husband, and she became suicidal, relying on pills to overcome the emotional pain. “Tina was like the glue for our family,” she wrote.
Hanes stared at the defense table as Garcia’s statement was read, but he did not speak on his behalf. Instead, his attorney, Stephen Dunkle, read from a previous statement in which Hanes expressed sorrow for Beddow’s death.
Although Hanes maintained he protected himself from an out-of-control methamphetamine addict, Devitt presented during the trial that former co-workers from PG&E who testified that Hanes had a hit list of people he would like to kill if he had a terminal illness or faced life in prison.
“Defendant is not allowed to falsely claim he was a peaceful person when earlier he told more than one co-worker he was going to kill those people with whom he disagreed,” Devitt wrote in one court motion.
Hanes had requested a new trial, but San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy denied that motion.
Garcia previously told The Tribune that Beddow, an Oregon native, met Hanes through a friend — Hanes’ daughter. Hanes’ 5-year-old grandson was in the home at the time of the murder.