Son accused of killing mom with baseball bat charged with murder

SAN JOSE (BCN) -- A man charged with beating his mother to death with a baseball bat outside Gilroy on Christmas morning appeared in court for the first time this afternoon.

Matthew Salewske, 39, was charged with one count of murder with the additional allegation of the use of a deadly weapon in the killing of his mother Claudia Salewske, Deputy District Attorney Michael Gilman said.

According to Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Josh Singleton, the lead investigator in the case against Salewske, Salewske's father called 911 dispatchers to report the attack at about 11 a.m. Sunday.

Deputies responded to a home at 2650 Roop Road in unincorporated Gilroy, near Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park.

The caller told the dispatcher that his son was schizophrenic and attacked Claudia Salewske with a baseball bat, Singleton said.

Deputies arrived and detained the defendant near the property's front gate, Singleton said, adding that Salewske volunteered to deputies that he had hit his mother with a baseball bat.

The deputies attended to the 70-year-old victim and took the baseball bat, which was lying on the ground next to her.

Claudia Salewske, a longtime English lecturer at San Jose State University, was taken to Saint Louise Regional Hospital in an ambulance and then was taken to Regional Medical Center in San Jose in a helicopter. She was pronounced dead there just after 2 p.m.

Throughout his arraignment in San Jose today, Salewske wore a yellow jail uniform, denoting an inmate with psychiatric issues, and rocked back and forth in his seat.

Salewske faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life if he is convicted of first-degree murder.

Salewske is being held without bail. His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 19.

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