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State Senate Bill Proposes 'Guilty But With Mental Defect' Option

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SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -

In December 2012, 18-year-old Generro Sanchez was shot and killed in Pottawatomie County by a man who told police he did it because he wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.  

Jerrod Murray, 21, said he knew of Sanchez because they both went to East Central University.

“He wanted to go out and experience the world. And he had dreams. And Jerrod squashed them,” Jeana West, Generro Sanchez's mother, said.

Murray was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to a mental health facility in Vinita.

And 38 days later, Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said a doctor claimed the alleged killer was no longer a danger to the public and Murray had the potential of being released.

“I mean you talk about ripping the scab off. And only 38 days after the court hearing,” Smothermon told News 9. “That is why this law has got to change.”

Second opinions kept Murray in custody, but this loophole in the law has sparked new legislation.

Smothermon said the "guilty but with mental defect" option would be reserved for the untreatable, and a jury could send them straight to prison.

“They are just wired differently than you or me. They’re just mean and no amount of treatment will ever make them not a danger,” he explained.

West said she will be do everything in her power to stop who she called “the other Jerrod Murrays of the world” from committing murder and seemingly getting away with it.

Senate Bill 1214 passed through the state Senate judiciary committee Tuesday, and now, it goes to a vote of the full Senate. 

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