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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Woman Kills Mother And Blames It On… Ghosts?

Woman Kills Mother And Blames It On… Ghosts?

south-caroline-ghost-murderAccording to Google, a ghost is “an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.” They may or may not be real, but in our world, they are not.

But that didn’t stop a lady in South Carolina from blaming them after she strangled her mother with an extension cord.

Don’t Listen To Ghosts

Many children believe in ghosts. About half of grown-up America also acknowledges that they might exist. In spite of these considerations, believers generally seem to steer clear of using the “ghost defense” in the courtroom. These are clever turnips, because they acknowledge the fact that this defense has very little weight in the United States legal system.

I mean none. No weight. A successful defense hinging on the supernatural is about as likely to exist as ghosts themselves.

But hey, if I’m not convincing you ghost-believers, then screw my opinions! You might not be able to prove ghosts are real, but I can’t prove they’re not. Consider this, though: if a ghost tells you to kill your mother — to kill ANYBODY — please, please, please do not indulge them.

Listening To Ghosts: A Case Study

Paula Anderson listened to ghosts and it is not working out well for her. Early Monday morning, North Charleston police officers responded to a call from the 45-year-old, who informed them that she was having a mental breakdown and killed her mom.

The cops found 68-year-old Frances Anderson sprawled on the bedroom floor. A brown extension cord was still wrapped around her neck, which was covered in scratch marks resulting from strangulation. Paula Anderson also had scratches on her own face, evidence of a struggle.

Oddly enough, it’s not looking like she’s trying to shift the blame to ghosts. She took the credit immediately and confessed in her 911 call. The confessions apparently kept coming after officers read Anderson her Miranda Rights. According to reports, she spoke in “excited utterances,” revealing that ghosts told her to kill her mother. Oh, also they said they’d kill her if she didn’t listen. This might have been a reasonable defense if the threat came from… shall we say… real humans. But they, um, well they didn’t.

Ghost Murder: Also Known As “Regular Murder”

The investigation is ongoing, but let’s be honest. Paula Anderson is going to be charged with murder. Because she committed it.

As far as sentencing goes, consequences depend on where the investigation ends up. A few questions need answering: Did Paula have a history of mental illness? Can she plead insanity? Was she on drugs? Perhaps most importantly, does she even want to get off the hook?

That last question is especially relevant considering what she said to police officers after the incident:

“I can’t believe [the ghosts] would do this to me. Got me all tripped out and… my sweet, sweet mother. I deserve the death penalty. I want to die.”

Unfortunately for Anderson, the death penalty is not too terribly popular these days. It’s legal in South Carolina, but its been years since the last execution.

Besides, even if she has no history of mental illness, her insistence that ghosts are really to blame probably means that her sentencing won’t be extreme enough to warrant the death penalty.

So, what then, first degree murder? Nah — unless the investigation uncovers evidence proving that this ghost stuff is a ruse and the murder was premeditated, we can rule this one out.

Second degree murder? Hm. Maybe. This is a “knowing killing of another,” which seems to fit the bill based on what we know. But this is a more complicated situation than “Anderson knew strangling her mother would kill her, but did it anyways.” Simply calling this a knowing killing doesn’t account for our offender’s irrationality.

Voluntary Manslaughter? That’s actually a pretty reasonable guess, assuming mental illness doesn’t come into the picture (which, how could it not). But if it doesn’t, then voluntary manslaughter would probably be appropriate. An oversimplification of this type of homicide might be something like, “second degree murder PLUS passion leading to irrational behavior.”

Nashville Criminal Defense Attorneys

Newsflash — criminal homicide is a very, very serious offense. Killing another person is just not acceptable.

The serious nature of homicide charges are, and should be, scary. So, if you’re accused of criminal homicide and are innocent, you obviously need to do everything you can to make sure you set the record straight. A sloppy defense, sadly, can cause people to spend the rest of their life suffering for crimes they didn’t commit.

That’s where we come in. At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide ranges of cases related to criminal law — and that certainly includes crimes of homicide. The sooner you take action, the better your chances of a satisfactory resolution, so don’t wait! Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation. A skilled lawyer is ready and waiting to get you on track toward the justice you deserve.

(615) 259-2660

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