Judge rules six year old's killer lacks criminal responsibility
Tue, 14 Feb 2012 16:59:14 GMT —
A judge has reached a verdict in the trial of David Trebilcock.
The judge determined Trebilcock "lacks criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease and defect" in the stabbing death of six-year-old Lauren Belius. He stressed that his verdict is not the same as finding Trebilcock not guilty.
When the verdict was read, there was stunned silence in the courtroom. Lauren's mother, Alison, and several other family members started sobbing. The little girl's grandfather, John Belius, called the verdict a, "travesty" saying, "this monster should never be able to walk the face of this Earth again."
Defense witnesses testified Trebilcock was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and did not know what he was doing was wrong. Trebilcock's lawyers say he believed Lauren was the Antichrist, and called her "it" or "beast."
Witnesses for the prosecution testified that Trebilcock appeared coherent and lucid after Lauren's death, and he knew he would likely go to jail for what he did. In closing statements, prosecutors said "this case is about a little girl who woke up in her own bed and looked into the face of evil."
Trebilcock had waived his right to a jury trial. Instead, he faced a bench trial, which means the judge in Oneida County Court was the only person making the decision.
The judge will have two psychologists evaluate Trebilcock, if its determined he has a dangerous mental disorder, he will be committed to a secure mental facility for one year. After that, he can be held for two year time periods if he remains mentally ill. One of the psychologists who testified said his prognosis is poor so he might end up spending the rest of his life in a mental facility.
Alison Belius was dating Trebilcock at the time of the murder last July. They all lived together in a home in Sherrill.