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Thread: Mistrial for woman accused of cutting off infant's

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    #1

    Mistrial for woman accused of cutting off infant's

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    Mistrial for woman accused of cutting off infant's arms
    Jurors deadlocked after four days of deliberating

    Saturday, February 25, 2006; Posted: 9:57 p.m. EST (02:57 GMT)


    McKINNEY, Texas (AP) -- A judge declared a mistrial Saturday in the murder trial of a woman accused of fatally cutting the arms off her 10-month-old daughter.

    Jurors deadlocked during the fourth day of deliberations in the case of Dena Schlosser, 37, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

    "There was heated discussion, and tempers flared in the jury room," said juror Chris Penn as he left court. "It was a long ordeal, very tiring."

    Attorneys confirmed a split of 10-2 in favor of a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. Penn said jurors argued "forcefully" trying to change the mind of one man, who wrote in a court note that he had made up his mind about Schlosser the first day of deliberations. Another juror could not decide, Penn added.

    Prosecutors would not comment on whether they would retry the case.

    Defense Attorney David Haynes said the case likely will be tried again. He added Schlosser and the defense were disappointed with the result.

    "We knew this was going to be a very hard case when we started out," he said. "Hopefully, we will carry the day next time."

    Police arrested Schlosser in November 2004 after finding her baby Margaret, known as Maggie, dying in her crib, and Schlosser covered in blood, holding a knife and listening to a hymn.

    The prosecution argued that she knew what she was doing, showing the jury grisly photos of the dead baby and emphasizing several witnesses' observations of Schlosser as a healthy, seemingly sane mother.

    But psychiatrists testifying for the defense told jurors of multiple psychotic episodes Schlosser detailed to them. One doctor said Schlosser told him she felt commanded by God to cut off Maggie's arms, followed by her own limbs and head. Schlosser had a deep cut on her shoulder when police found her.

    The jury said on the second day of deliberations that it was deadlocked, but the judge ordered them to continue.

    Jurors requested numerous rereadings of testimony, with one juror even asking Judge Chris Oldner to define the term "deliberation" and the precise role of a juror. Attorneys on both sides said they have never heard of such requests.

    Schlosser's husband, John Schlosser has filed for divorce and has custody of the family's other two children.

    Schlosser's former stepfather, Bob Nicholas, testified, then sat through the trial and waited out the deliberations.

    "It has been a very emotional experience for myself and family members," he said, holding back tears as he left court Saturday. "I can say that it has not ended yet."

    Dr. William Reid had testified that people close to Schlosser had missed obvious signs of severe mental illness.

    John Schlosser, said he wasn't alarmed when his wife said after church the day before the killing that she wanted to "give the baby to God." He said she appeared normal after he calmed her down, and he thought her mental condition had improved over the past few months.

    The summer before Maggie died, Schlosser abandoned Maggie and her other two children by running away from the family's apartment. She was found two miles away by Plano police and released from a hospital less than 24 hours later.

    The Schlosser family went several times a week to the Water of Life Church. The pastor, Doyle Davidson, testified that he believes mental illness is possession by demons and only God can cure it.

    Dena Schlosser, who was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis after Maggie's birth, didn't take medication or see a doctor in the four months before the killing.

    After her arrest, Dena Schlosser was diagnosed with manic depression and declared mentally incompetent to stand trial. But in May, after doctors treated her, a judge found she was competent.

    Prosecutors said the defense improperly blamed Schlosser's husband, church, social workers and others for her actions.

    "Were all these entities failing when Dena Schlosser walked into the kitchen, bypassed the small knife and chose the instrument of death?" Assistant District Attorney Bill Dobiyanski said as he displayed the bloody kitchen knife.
  2. JMM
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    #2
    OMG, that poor baby.

    HELLO, a zillion red flags! Damn it, stuff like this makes me so mad. She should be locked up until her last breath. Psycho. :mad
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaymara


    John Schlosser, said he wasn't alarmed when his wife said after church the day before the killing that she wanted to "give the baby to God."

    The summer before Maggie died, Schlosser abandoned Maggie and her other two children by running away from the family's apartment. She was found two miles away by Plano police and released from a hospital less than 24 hours later.

    Dena Schlosser, who was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis after Maggie's birth, didn't take medication or see a doctor in the four months before the killing.
    Now why the hell didnt people, her husband, pay attention to these details? Just ignore it and it will go away or not be true? Dont stick you nose in something because it might hurt the poor woman? It pisses me off about the people around these women:mad
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    #4
    Why couldn't they decide! :mad The fucking woman cut OFF her baby's arms and the child died. Who cares if she's insane, she needs to go to Jail and suffer for the rest of her life. I don't think the other women in jail would take to kindly to her!
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    Reason of Insanity. That term always makes my skin crawl. That term indicates that we know, understand and have passed laws based on the fact that at some point in our lives and minds, we will lose total control of our functions and revert to a primal state that knows only a single trait:

    Survival, at all costs.

    In this case, I would have been the juror who made up his mind on the first day. Let's say, just for a second, that you are driving along, and realize that in .3 seconds, you're going to be in a head-on collision with another vehicle. Your first instinct, if you're a parent, is to disregard your own safety and protect your child by gripping them or shielding their face. If you have no children, it would be to protect your face, head and neck. This is why people throw both of their forearms up over their face.

    This woman lacks that trait. When she reached her breaking point, she grabbed a knife and sawed off the arms of the single most innocent thing in the house. This is not the actions of an insane person. She stated the day before that she wanted to see the child to God. Whatever her reasoning was, it was premeditated murder - and her own statement should have been enough to condemn her.

    Instead, we see the "coddling of America" - people are not being held to their responsibilites and allowed to skate out of the way when the peacekeepers come prying.

    The only real crime here is that the defense lawyers are allowed to breathe. Congratulations, ambulance chasers! Perhaps next time you'll brief your client on how to hide the evidence after she slaughters a pesky infant. <insert string of expletives>
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    #6
    This story has been really big in DFW ... it happened in Plano which is just north of Dallas so we have it on the news everyday... one important thing that the news stations have been saying is that the day of the murder she called her husband and said that "she hurt Maggie", which implies that she knew the whole time that she was hurting her daughter... that's not insane... that's completely conscious and she knew what she was doing... there's your catch right there... that's your smoking gun and your murder confession. She should've been locked up, but because the justice system can be so screwed up sometimes she is off right now and they are waiting another trial which is going to give the defense even more time to prepare a stronger insanity plea.... JEEZ! What is the judge thinking in this case. The woman is a murderer... she killed her OWN baby for goodness sakes... that's not something people just up and do for no reason at all... she had mentality enough to pick up the knife knowing it would work and that losing her arms would kill her.... the jurors in this case were idiots in my opinion... she should be locked up right now




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  7. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #7
    I dont know every detail of the case but with a split jury of 10-2, with 10 saying not guilty, I'm thinking there's a lot more to it than simply pre-meditated murder.

    It's easy to blame the people close to her for neglecting to see the signs of mental illness and act accordingly but it's very easy to be too close to realise exactly what is going on.
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    I concur, Zelda - Tunnelvision is something any of us can suffer from. Those near her probably had no idea, or simply didn't want to know. Her husband left her, which indicates that her action was completely random to him. Obviously, he wasn't paying close attention to his wife's state.

    To us looking in through the fence, we all had red flags going off. But that's the story we're fed. I sincerely doubt that as the events before her actions were as dramatic.

    Not sure if you're familiar with US Laws, Zelda, but in felony cases, ALL jurors must be in agreement with the verdict. 11-1, and the trial is a mistrial. (A GREAT story on this is "Twelve Angry Men".)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatetank
    I concur, Zelda - Tunnelvision is something any of us can suffer from. Those near her probably had no idea, or simply didn't want to know. Her husband left her, which indicates that her action was completely random to him. Obviously, he wasn't paying close attention to his wife's state.

    To us looking in through the fence, we all had red flags going off. But that's the story we're fed. I sincerely doubt that as the events before her actions were as dramatic.

    Not sure if you're familiar with US Laws, Zelda, but in felony cases, ALL jurors must be in agreement with the verdict. 11-1, and the trial is a mistrial. (A GREAT story on this is "Twelve Angry Men".)
    Yes I'm familiar with some US laws. My point was that the majority of the jury voted not guilty. If it was a clear cut pre-meditated murder, surely even in the case of a split jury tha majority would've voted guilty.

    It's very easy to be the judge and jury when hearing stories like this one - where the point of defence is an act of insanity. But whilst most people would hear the story and say that the woman should be locked away for all eternity, there's often a lot more to the story that complicates the case somewhat. Personally, I dont think the woman in question fully comprehended what she was doing. Regardless of the verdict, I really hope she gets the help and treatment she needs.
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    better go to trial again and next time i hope better justice is served.
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