Judge denied access to man who abused mom

Fifty-three-year-old man admitted felony assault on his mother in Oceanside

“He assaulted his 92-year-old mother with his fists,” said Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty. The prosecutor had evidence photos of an elderly woman with two black eyes, in her case file.

William Buford Bidwell, 53, made a plea deal yesterday afternoon, April 9, 2013, in San Diego’s North County courthouse. He admitted one felony count of elder abuse, when he assaulted his mother in her Oceanside home last December.

The defendant’s sister spoke to the court, she asked Judge Aaron Katz to remove the restraining order that demands William Bidwell stay away from his mother. “He’s been sober,” the woman told the court. She said her brother was “going to AA” and has “been in therapy” and that he will “not try to be a live-in caretaker anymore” for his mother.

The now-recovered victim, mother Dorothy Bidwell, was seated in the back of the courtroom with her walker, during proceedings. She did not speak.

Honorable Judge Aaron Katz congratulated William Bidwell for his progress and directed him to “maintain your sobriety.” The judge appeared to review the evidence photos in the case file before he declined to lift the restraining order. “Obviously we want to protect the victim in this case,” Judge Katz said.

If William Bidwell is able to observe all conditions of his plea deal for three years, the judge said the offense could then be considered for reduction to misdemeanor.

William Buford Bidwell, 53, is due back in court for sentencing on June 4, 2013.


This sort of ruling is almost unprecedented. Judge Katz actually employed some common sense to a situation instead of a carefully wrought piece of nonsense. Good for the judge.

I'll reserve judgment until we see what the sentence is. The guy beat his 92-year old mother black and blue. I don't think he deserves to be commended for coming back to the level of human.

Nobody should be allowed to do that and then, just because they are an alcoholic, be congratulated when they stop drinking and beating people. He's got a long way to go.

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