My next-door-neighbor, who is a casual friend of mine, has a son who was recently convicted of beating his infant son to death. I know the guy, and he is both violent and a liar.
I haven't spoken to his mom since I've been back, and really haven't the first clue what to say to her. I feel awful for her, though. First losing her grandchild like that, then having her kid sent to prison for it...I can't even imagine what she must be going through.
She has described her son to me more than once as a sociopath, and told me that she was afraid of him. I guess she was right about that. So sad...
She's in Alaska and her son is on trial in Ohio? (Am I getting this right?)
If you've been on friendly terms with her, acknowledge that she's going through a very hard time, so that the elephant in the room disappears and you both aren't uncomfortable.
She's got to be feeling a whole lot of things right now, including concern, guilt, fear, anger, horror, sadness, you name it. I would imagine that not being written off as a person or parent will mean a great deal to her.