REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) — A jury found Francis Wolke guilty on Thursday of first-degree murder for killing a Menlo Park woman inside her home.
Wolke stabbed 62-year-old Kathleen Anderson inside her bedroom in December of 2018, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Anderson’s friend later found her body, and the killer, still inside the house. The friend alerted the Menlo Park Police Department and detained Wolke at knifepoint until police officers arrived, prosecutors said.
Anderson had never met Wolke, 30, before she was murdered. “There was no known relationship or contact between defendant and victim, nor a known motive for the crime,” prosecutors stated.
In 2020, Wolke pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Jurors deliberated for three days before finding him guilty Thursday.
The jury will deliberate again on Monday for the sanity phase of the trial, which will determine whether Wolke was mentally sane or insane at the time he murdered Anderson. Criminal defendants who receive guilty and insane trial verdicts are sentenced to state hospitals, instead of state prisons.
According to the Palo Alto Daily Post, Anderson worked as the City of Atherton’s arborist for two decades.
Atherton’s town clerk told the post, “She had a deep passion for landscaping and trees, and she shared that love with many of our town residents, spending time with them in their gardens. Kathy was a beacon of positivity for all who came into contact with her, and her impact on trees in Atherton will carry on for many generations.”
Wolke lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area just days before the murder.
After Thursday’s verdict, Wolke was escorted back to jail where he is being held in lieu of $10 million bail.