On Jan. 14, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes sentenced Jerry Canfield, 73, to three years in prison for fatally shooting his wife, Joann, 72, on Oct. 6, 2014. (“Local Man Confesses to Wife’s Killing,” Oct. 20, 2014).
According to the Alameda Police Department, Canfield arrived at its offices around 6 p.m. on Oct. 6, 2014, and told the front-desk clerks that he wanted to confess to the murder of his spouse. "He said that he killed his wife with a single gunshot," said APD Sgt. Rick Bradley. Bradley said Canfield told the police that he had shot his wife because she was suffering from numerous ailments.
The DA had originally charged Canfield with murder. On Jan. 16, 2015, Canfield pled not guilty to that charge. Then on Nov. 2, 2015 — more than a year after he shot his wife — Canfield appeared in court and — in return for the three-year sentence — entered a no-contest plea to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter (“Canfield Enters Plea,” Nov. 5, 2015).
Canfield did not address the court on Jan. 14. Instead, he listened quietly to a letter written by Lisa Reed, Joann’s daughter from a previous marriage, and as Rhynes imposed his sentence. Reed was not in the courtroom. In her stead, DA’s victim-witness advocate Dena Aindow read a letter from Reed, which said, in part, that the way Canfield had killed her mother upset her so much that had to undergo therapy.
The sentencing was a formality. Canfield had already cut a deal with the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. He will get credit for the 14 months and 20 days he already spent at Santa Rita Jail waiting for his sentence. He would become eligible for release after serving 85 percent of the 36-month sentence, or 30.6 months. That means he could serve 16 more months and be eligible for release in mid-March 2017.