One murderer remains a mystery, the other not so much

2013-01-29T10:09:00Z 2013-01-29T10:29:56Z One murderer remains a mystery, the other not so muchBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 29, 2013 10:09 am  • 

Two people were sentenced to life in prison Monday for murdering someone. One of them cooperated with the probation officer who wrote a pre-sentence report for the judge, the other didn't.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE pre-sentence reports because they provide a really good glimpse into how people ended up in the criminal justice system.

Probation officers look at defendant's family relationships, where they grew up, their education, their finances, substance abuse issues, criminal history and mental/physical health.

According to Glen Francis' pre-sentence report, his attorneys didn't want a probation officer to interview Francis. So, his life could very well remain a mystery (unless someone decides to write a book and can ferret out his background).

In addition, the probation officer couldn't investigate Francis' past criminal history because he's used so many aliases over the years.

Sara Golden, on the other hand, did talk to a probation officer. 

According to her presentence report, she is the youngest of three kids, was raised by a mom who was married several times and she was sexually abused by one of her stepfathers.

Golden has three children, but none of them were fathered by her one and only husband.

Unlike many other defendants I've read about, Golden actually has some skills. She has earned a certificate in culinary arts and once worked as a baker at a grocery store. She also earned a home health aide certificate and spent six years working for various nursing homes in Tucson.

Golden told the probation officer she isn't much of a drinker, but has smoked pot, used cocaine and done meth. On the night of the murder, she had used "half of an eight-ball."

In addition, Golden apparently has some mental health issues. She has been diagnosed with PTSD and as bipolar and received treatment before and after the murder.

Unlike most other defendants, the probation officer also noted that Golden "expressed attitudes inconsistent with criminal thinking."

The officer wrote Golden has a plan "to improve her life through educational and vocational programs during her incarceration."

Golden's mom has adopted her children, two of whom saw the murder. The three kids are 11, 8 and 5. 

 

The murder resulted in Golden's first felony conviction. The probation officer wrote Golden had no history of violent behavior.

 

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