Lawyer: Hudson Valley Woman Stabbed Mother Because of Witchcraft
A Hudson Valley woman who’s accused of killing her mother pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer claims she’s criminally insane and feared her mother’s witchcraft practices.
Sarra Gilbert, 23, of Ellenville is accused of fatally stabbing her mother on July 23. When police arrived they found Mari Gilbert dead on the floor inside of Sarra’s apartment.
“She’s what we call criminally insane. She’s a schizophrenic, a serious one. It’s extremely tragic for her, as well as for her mom, as well as her family,” Gilbert's attorney John Ray said in court, Newsday reports.
Officials allegedly found Sarra in the kitchen area with blood on her clothing. An autopsy on Mari Gilbert, 52, determined the official cause of death was listed as homicide, due to multiple stab wounds to her torso, along with other injuries.
Sarra was detained by police and later charged with second-degree murder.
According to her lawyer, Sarra was hospitalized 10 times in the last three years for psychiatric issues.
Gilbert underwent a psychiatric examination Thursday. The results should be announced before her next court date on Sept. 9, Newsday reports.
Gilbert’s lawyer believes her mother’s witchcraft practice affected Sarra.
“Mari was a lifetime practitioner of witchcraft and apparently of black magic,” Newsday reports Ray as saying. “And her children were adversely affected by it, there is no question about it whatsoever. Sarra suffered from terrible delusions about witches, about demons, about voices and such. How can one not connect that to what her mother was doing?”
Sarra is being held at Ulster County Jail without bail.