OK House To Consider Guilty By Mental Defect Bill

Sunday, April 17th 2016, 5:51 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma mother's son was kidnapped and killed by a fellow classmate. Jerrod Murray confessed to the killing, but was later found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Now, Jeana West is fighting to change that plea option for future violent offenders with a new bill.

“He meticulously planned out and executed the murder of my son,” West said.

Nearly three and a half years later, she still can't let it go.

“He got away with it he literally got away with it,” she said.

Jerrod Murray pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for killing West's son, 18-year-old Generro Sanchez. The two were both students at East Central University when on December 6, 2012; Sanchez agreed to give Murray a ride to Walmart for $20.

Instead, in his taped confession, Murray said he took Sanchez out on a rural road and shot him twice in the head.

2/17/2016 Related Story: Authorities Release Jerrod Murray Murder Confession Video

Under the insanity plea, Murray was sent to a mental health facility.

“I had a gut feeling that was going to happen,” West said.

7/17/2015 Related Story: ECU Student Found Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity For Killing Classmate

Now, West doesn't want to see that happen to another family.

If passed, the guilty by mental defect bill would essentially close a loophole that now allows violent offenders to avoid long prison sentences under an insanity plea.

Senate Bill 1214 would add a “guilty but with mental defect” defense for those individuals who are found guilty with a mental illness but who also have an antisocial personality disorder.

“So nobody is saying they won't receive treatment, they'll get that and then serve their time,” she said.

Under the legislation, a plea of guilty with mental defect would result in the same sentence that could be imposed on another person convicted of the same crime.

Those found guilty with mental defect would be required to be examined by the state Department of Mental Health with a recommendation to be made within 45 days.

“He was found not guilty for premeditated murder that he confessed to that he described in detail of what he did to my son and he got away with it,” West said. “He got away with murder once, what’s to make him think he won’t get away with it again.”

According to the Pottawatomie County District Attorney’s office, a doctor claimed Murray was no longer a threat to society. He could be released at soon as November.

The bill has passed the Senate, and is scheduled to be considered in the House of Representatives this week.