Woman’s Appeal Denied In Notorious ’02 Orinda Murder Case

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The California Supreme Court Wednesday turned down an East Bay woman’s appeal of her second-degree murder conviction in the killing of her estranged psychotherapist husband in Contra Costa County in 2002.

The high court, in an order issued at its San Francisco headquarters, declined without comment to review a Court of Appeal ruling in December that upheld the conviction of Susan Polk.

Polk, 53, of Orinda, was convicted in Contra Costa County Superior Court in 2006 of second-degree murder for fatally stabbing Felix Polk, 71, in a cottage on their property in Orinda in 2002.

Superior Court Judge Laurel Brady sentenced her in 2007 to 16 years to life in prison.

Susan Polk admitted to stabbing her estranged husband, but claimed she acted in self-defense after he picked up a kitchen knife. The two were in the midst of a contentious divorce at the time.

Susan Polk met Felix Polk when she was 14 and he was acting as her therapist for panic attacks. They married 10 years later, in 1982, and had three sons.

Two of the sons testified as prosecution witnesses, and the third testified as a defense witness in their mother’s 14-week trial.

Polk acted as her own attorney during the tumultuous trial, but had a court-appointed lawyer, Victor Morse, during her appeals. Morse was not immediately available for comment.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

  • gail mitchell

    the first mistake was that of the judge, how can you sit there and allow a woman who has killed the husband, a man, a father of 3 children. surely there is a sense that she under went a trama that led her to this hanus crime/and she not in her right mind was allowed to defend herself. they should have evaluated you, for allowing this / and the sentence her to 17 years and have not served one day in her mind. the courts are getting sloppier, and sloppier. you had a chance to have this woman evaluated and given a defender at the onset of the trial. shame shame on you judge./ who voted you in office.

    • Jus Sayin

      She fired every attorney who tried to help her because she thought she knew the law better than they did. The court BEGGED Susan to allow an attorney to represent her, but she was too arrogant to believe anyone could do a better job than she could.

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    […] Woman’s Appeal Denied In Notorious ’02 Orinda Murder Case The California Supreme Court today turned down an appeal by Susan Polk of her second-degree murder conviction in the killing of her estranged psychotherapist husband in Contra Costa County. Read more on CBS San Francisco […]

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