Corning man pleads to lesser charge in brother's death
The Corning man accused of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his stepbrother has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony assault.
Clifford Manuel Palmer, 46, entered the plea in Tehama County Superior Court on Monday and is scheduled for sentencing on March 18.
Palmer and his brother, Fermin Mitch Alberro, 40, got into a fight over who was going to bring firewood into their Flournoy Avenue residence on Nov. 27.
Both men are reported to have been drinking throughout the day.
Palmer hit Alberro over the head with his breathing machine and punched him in the face, the Tehama County District Attorney's Office reported.
Alberro fell to the floor and stopped breathing.
The Sheriff's Department responded to the scene around 5:45 p.m. after Palmer called 911 reporting Alberro was unconscious and unresponsive, Tehama County sheriff's Lt. Donald Thomas said.
Deputies found Alberro lying in the entry way of the residence unconscious and not breathing, Thomas said.
"Palmer said the argument turned into a physical fight and that he used his fist to strike (Alberro) in the face, and that his brother then fell to the floor unconscious," Thomas said of the incident.
Tehama County Deputy Coroner Chris Sharp said the cause of death was cerebral concussion while under the influence of alcohol.
According to court documents, the two men have a history of domestic violence.
Palmer pleaded not guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury on Dec. 4, and then waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
The defendant's guilty plea to the lesser charge came as result of a plea deal with the District Attorney's Office.