A Bath man charged with murder in the killing of his mother last year has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter in a plea deal.

Jason Ibarra. Courtesy of Two Bridges Regional Jail

Jason Ibarra, 43, was charged with depraved indifference murder after police said he told them he killed his 66-year-old mother, Jeanine, in her Bath apartment on May 24, 2022. Ibarra had been staying with her following his release from prison on assault and threatening convictions, according to police.

Ibarra pleaded not guilty to the murder charge at his arraignment in July. He had been set for a trial in front of a judge after waiving his right to a jury trial early last week, but on Friday he entered a guilty plea on a charge of felony domestic violence manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. He would have faced at least 25 years to life in prison had he been convicted on the murder charge, which was dropped as part of the plea deal. A sentencing date has not been set yet.

Ibarra’s defense team and the state recommended an overall prison sentence up to 30 years, with the unsuspended portion capped at 15 years. Ibarra can argue for fewer than 15 years, while probation could be up to six years.

Justice Daniel Billings is presiding over the case. One of Ibarra’s attorneys, Jeremy Pratt, declined to comment Tuesday.

Police said Ibarra’s brother called authorities on the day of the killing after Ibarra allegedly admitted on the phone, sounding “depressed and intoxicated,” that he killed their mother, according to court documents. Bath police Officer Brett McIntire went to the mother’s Congress Avenue apartment and said Ibarra was so intoxicated he struggled to stand.

“I did not mean to kill her,” he said, according to police. He kept repeating, “I killed my mother,” police said.

Officers said they found his mother in a bedroom with cloth around her neck. An autopsy found she died of strangulation.

After his arraignment, Ibarra was held on $100,000 bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. No family members were present at the arraignment, and Ibarra has been in custody since.

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