Three months in jail for journalist who killed mother with boiling oil

Bizarre case of Israeli TV journalist whose mother hid cooking ingredients from her daughter by locking them in her bedroom.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A television journalist convicted of causing the death of her mother by spilling boiling oil on her was sentenced Sunday to three months in jail.

Sapir Nisani, who worked as a local reporter for several Israeli television stations, also received eight months probation for the 2016 incident.

News reports during the trial indicated that Sapir and her mother, Miriam, had a fractious relationship with a history of tension between the two. Nisani also suffered from emotional and mental stress, but had refused to agree to a psychiatric assessment.

According to testimony and press reports, Sapir lived with her mother in the city of Kfar Saba, where the two argued over the cleanliness of the house, especially the kitchen, Channel 13 news reported. Miriam was apparently upset over her daughter repeatedly failing to clean up after cooking and using different spices.

At some point, Miriam apparently removed all the spices from Sapir’s access and locked them in a closet in her bedroom, putting the key under her pillow when she went to sleep each night.

Sapir developed an interest in naturopathy and nutrition and reportedly liked to experiment with cooking, sometimes late at night when the kitchen was free.

On several occasions before the incident, Sapir tried to sneak into the bedroom to get the key, but Miriam woke up and stopped her each time.

In April 2016, Miriam went to sleep and turned out the light. Sapir decided to prepare a naturopathic concoction that required a pot of hot oil. At one point she wanted to add a specific ingredient, but needed the key.

According to testimony, Sapir decided to take the pot of oil with her, but did not turn on the bedroom light. She tripped on a robot vacuum cleaner and by accident spilled the oil on her sleeping mother, causing severe burns to her upper body.

Sapir immediately turned on the bedroom light, rushed her mother to the shower and sprayed cold water on her before calling an ambulance. Her mother succumbed to the wounds two months later and Nisani was charged with negligent homicide.

As part of a plea bargain signed two years ago, Sapir admitted negligence for spilling the boiling oil but did not admit to the link that the oil spill was the cause of her mother’s death.

For the past several months Nisani refused to go to court for sentencing, claiming she was sick with the coronavirus or required to be in quarantine. However, after she repeated the claim again last week the judge issued an order for police officers to bring her to court by force.