Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Bedford woman acquitted of murder on insanity defense

Via Virginia Lawyers Weekly, the Lynchburg paper has this account of the acquittal of a Bedford county woman who claimed that because of her insanity she should be found innocent of criminal charges for fatally shooting her husband.

The article says, in part:

"Bowles suffers from a delusional disorder that is aggravated by a methamphetamine addiction, Padgett said.
She thought for years that Morris was trying to kill her and told police on the night of the shooting that it was either him or her.
Bowles said she also thought Morris had killed his first wife for insurance money because he would change the channel when “Unsolved Mysteries” came on television.
She also thought he was planning to do the same thing to her and that’s what she told police after they arrested her for shooting him on April 12, 2001.
“She had the idea that her husband had always been against her. She also has delusions that her own lawyer and myself were against her,” Padgett told Updike.
Clinical psychologists described Bowles’ illness as a “Delusional Disorder, persecutory type.” They also said that even though she suffered from delusions, she could also “act normal” well enough to fool some experts.
“That’s why she’s dangerous,” Padgett said.
According to psychological evaluations done by both the defense and the state psychologists, Bowles believed for years that Morris was really another man named Edward Armistead Thomas and that he had had plastic surgery done to disguise himself.
She also thought that Morris was part of the Pagans motorcycle gang and that he knew all the police officers in town, who therefore wouldn’t believe anything she said, Padgett said."

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