Modesto mother who stabbed 13-year-old autistic son must remain in prison, for now

Anitra Hankins
Anitra Hankins

A Modesto mother convicted of stabbing her 13-year-old autistic son in September 2010 must remain in prison at least another year, or possibly another three years.

Anitra Hankins, 42, was found unsuitable for parole at a hearing last week in Chowchilla, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced this week.

Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne appeared at the May 2 hearing, asking the parole board to keep Hankins in prison. The prosecutor argued that the defendant lacks appreciation for her actions, and she lacks candor in sessions with a state psychologist.

In September 2015, Hankins pleaded guilty to attempted murder for stabbing her son, Miles. As part of a plea deal to avoid trial, Hankins was sentenced to seven years to life in prison. At the time the deal was reached, she had already served more than four years of that sentence while in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail.


Prosecutors said Hankins repeatedly stabbed her son after telling him to lie down for her and then tying him up inside their north Modesto apartment on Sept. 26, 2010. Police officers arrived and discovered a bloody crime scene.

The officers found Miles injured in the apartment’s hallway, his feet bound with rope. Hankins appeared to be in a state of shock and was not fully cooperating with investigators, according to police. Prosecutors said Miles also had suffered a serious head injury when Hankins struck him with a heavy clock.

The boy underwent surgery and recovered from his injuries. When his mother’s criminal case concluded, he was living with relatives in another state.

Hankins has previously admitted repeatedly hitting her son in other violent incidents, including hitting him with wire hangers, according to prosecutors. They said the mother blamed the stabbing on a difficult upbringing and violence she suffered at the hands of other men.

Prosecutors said the parole board determined Hankins’ account of the attack on her son was “missing something,” since Miles had complied with his mother before she repeatedly stabbed him.


Hankins has been in custody since she was arrested by police several hours after the stabbing. When she pleaded guilty, Hankins told Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Rick Distaso that she understood her sentence is indeterminate and she could spend of the rest of her life in prison. If she is released, Hankins will have to serve five years on parole.

The parole board must schedule another hearing for Hankins in three years. Based on recent changes in state law, Hankins can apply for an earlier parole hearing in one year, according to prosecutors.

Rosalio Ahumada: 209-578-2394, @ModBeeCourts