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LA jury: woman who ran over man she called 'road kill' was insane
ap on Riverside Press Enterprise ^ | 8/16/06 | AP

Posted on 08/16/2006 10:23:56 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

LOS ANGELES

A woman who was convicted of repeatedly running her car over a Hispanic man she called "road kill" will be sentenced to a state mental hospital after a jury found her insane.

The panel deliberated for four hours Tuesday before returning its verdict in a retrial of the Sept. 1, 2000, death of Jesus Plascencia, 65.

Marie Elise West, 41, of Hermosa Beach was convicted of second-degree murder in November 2004 for running over the restaurant worker outside a Van Nuys bagel shop, but that jury deadlocked on whether she was sane at the time of the crime. The jurors also rejected the prosecution's contention that the crime was motivated by racial hatred.

The latest trial began in July 26 after repeated delays because West was hospitalized multiple times for her mental illness.

During retrial, prosecutors argued that the crime was premeditated and described West as a cold-blooded killer. Witnesses said she made racist remarks before and after driving over Plascencia, then walked into the bagel shop and told an employee that there was some "road kill" in the parking lot.

Defense attorney Angelyn Gates countered in closing arguments that West ran over an innocent man for no apparent reason.

"There is no reasonable, rational explanation for this," Gates said. "The only explanation is insanity."

A judge will determine the length of West's hospital stay at a hearing scheduled for Sept. 7.

West's mother said she was relieved her daughter avoided a prison term.

"Prison would have been like a death sentence. She couldn't have survived that," Geraldine West said.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; insane; justice; mentalhealth; roadkill; woman

1 posted on 08/16/2006 10:23:57 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Sounds like a killer with a sense of humor.

I would not call it insane I would say more like she did not like Hispanic people.

I would of found her guilty of murder minus the insanity tag.


2 posted on 08/16/2006 10:30:04 AM PDT by Global2010 (Show me da paw Ya'll)
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To: NormsRevenge

The jury only deliberated for 4 hours? That woman must have been obviously bug-sh*t crazy.


3 posted on 08/16/2006 10:30:32 AM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Prison would have been like a death sentence."

No, being run over multiple times would be like a death sentence.

4 posted on 08/16/2006 10:31:57 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Global2010
I would of found her guilty of murder minus the insanity tag.

Ditto. This one doesn't pass the smell test.

5 posted on 08/16/2006 10:33:40 AM PDT by Condor 63
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To: NormsRevenge
The guys who are killed by lethal injection from time to time, usually have committed crimes so foul that I just shake my head and say, "No normal person would do something that heinous. You'd have to be crazy to be so callous."

But I don't think that is sufficient grounds for them to avoid prison and execution. I guess she's different.

6 posted on 08/16/2006 10:33:52 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy ( “I'm the Emperor, and I want dumplings!” (German: Ich bin der Kaiser und will Knödel.))
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To: NormsRevenge
I don't care if she is crazy or not.

If you are capable of murdering another person, you should go directly to prison.

Hate crime, insanity, "difficult childhood", I am sick of the labels. You kill, you should get permanently removed from society.

7 posted on 08/16/2006 10:34:57 AM PDT by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: NormsRevenge
I would have had her excuted for murder. But if you're a female murderer, people are guided not by the facts but by their feelings for the fair sex. A woman who can run over a man must be out of her mind - her buggin' mind! So we medicalize evil.

(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)

8 posted on 08/16/2006 10:35:12 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Marie Elise West and her husband, Al Bowman, in Las Vegas shortly after their 1999 wedding. "I fell in love with the sane part of her," Bowman said. "I figured I could handle the insane part if I had to."

http://easyreader.hermosawave.net/news2001/1018/coverstory.asp

9 posted on 08/16/2006 10:35:19 AM PDT by avacado
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To: NormsRevenge

>>Jesus Plascencia, <<

Running over Jesus with a car is just bad Karma.


10 posted on 08/16/2006 10:36:30 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: goldstategop
I would have had her excuted for murder. But if you're a female murderer, people are guided not by the facts but by their feelings for the fair sex. A woman who can run over a man must be out of her mind - her buggin' mind! So we medicalize evil.

A vagina is get-out-of-jail-free card.
11 posted on 08/16/2006 10:38:31 AM PDT by ElTiante
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To: NormsRevenge
"There is no reasonable, rational explanation for this," Gates said. "The only explanation is insanity."

This theory leads inexorably to the conclusion that all murder is the result of insanity, since no "reasonable, rational" person would murder.

12 posted on 08/16/2006 10:38:48 AM PDT by TChris (Banning DDT wasn't about birds. It was about power.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"There is no reasonable, rational explanation for this," Gates said. "The only explanation is insanity."

There is another explanation, evil. Evil is never reasonable.

13 posted on 08/16/2006 10:40:08 AM PDT by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: avacado
I guess with a face like that - the jury's hearts' broke. Its the same face that drove the Greeks to launch a thousand ships to save the fair Helen. Its the same feminine beauty that will allow people to forgive a woman even the unspeakable. Would Marie Elise have been found insane if she had been plain Jane? I doubt it.

(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)

14 posted on 08/16/2006 10:42:11 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Prison would have been like a death sentence. She couldn't have survived that,"

Obviously no one really cares that the pedestrian got the death sentence. Unique moral perspective.

Being that cool and detached after repeatedly running over someone is a form of insanity... The same "insanity" we throw serial killers in prison for.

I'll wager we will see this same woman in headlines after she is released and runs over, or murders in some other fashion, someone else.

15 posted on 08/16/2006 10:42:55 AM PDT by M1Tanker (Proven Daily: Modern "progressive" liberalism is just National Socialism without the "twisted cross")
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To: avacado

Excellent article. Most people don't understand mental illness, and very few realize the profound lack of reasoning that goes along with it.

My husband was bipolar. I remember one night having to lock the door of my bedroom with my kids and me behind it, simply because I could not trust him to do something nuts.

Hospitals routinely send people like this home. It's a nightmare for families, that love the person, but understand they are not rational and cannot be trusted to act out on their delusions.


16 posted on 08/16/2006 10:43:11 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: netmilsmom
Running over Jesus with a car is just bad Karma.

Not to mention complicated theology.

17 posted on 08/16/2006 10:43:26 AM PDT by Heyworth
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To: goldstategop

This is from her husband:

Then, in March of 2000, a frustrated Bowman asked the Hermosa Beach police to take his wife into custody because he thought she was a danger to herself.

But her innocent, angelic tone convinced the police to turn their heads and walk the other way.

"They took one look at her and said she was fine," Bowman said.


18 posted on 08/16/2006 10:44:09 AM PDT by avacado
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To: teenyelliott
You kill, you should get permanently removed from society.

Permanent removal would be execution .... of course I'm of the same mind about it as well. No excuses .. .just shoot the criminals.

19 posted on 08/16/2006 10:45:49 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (Islam is a subsingularity memetic perversion : (http://www.orionsarm.com/topics/perversities.html))
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To: avacado
Someone who looks that angelic isn't necessarily innocent. Our eyes oft deceive us to what we ought to know better in our hearts.

(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)

20 posted on 08/16/2006 10:46:44 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: netmilsmom

HER KARMA RAN OVER HIS DOGMA........


21 posted on 08/16/2006 10:47:53 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is Castro dead yet?........)
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To: goldstategop
I would have had her excuted for murder. But if you're a female murderer, people are guided not by the facts but by their feelings for the fair sex. A woman who can run over a man must be out of her mind - her buggin' mind! So we medicalize evil.

I'm always dubious of the insanity defense, but in this case, she really is clearly insane. From the link in #9:

In February of that year, she was taken to the psychiatric department at College Hospital after being charged with assaulting four police officers.

Then, in March of 2000, a frustrated Bowman asked the Hermosa Beach police to take his wife into custody because he thought she was a danger to herself.

But her innocent, angelic tone convinced the police to turn their heads and walk the other way.

"They took one look at her and said she was fine," Bowman said.

Two days later, she was picked up by police in Redondo Beach for trespassing and was sent to the Harbor- UCLA psychiatric facilities.

Under the current Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, they could legally hold West for only 72 hours.

But Bowman, knowing that she was not well enough to go back into society, asked for a Reese hearing, where the court determines if an individual can be held longer.

Her Reese hearing diagnosed her as gravely disabled. The doctor’s note said, "She says she is the Messiah and has a camera in her eye and that someone was going to assault her."

After three weeks as an inpatient, she went home with hopes that her medications would suppress any further outbreaks.

But in August she was worse than ever. On the morning of Sept. 1 she ended up at the Western Bagel shop in Van Nuys. Moments later, an innocent stranger was dead, and she was arrested on charges of murder. She had run over Jesus Plascencia with her 1989 Volvo as he walked to his car with a bag full of bagels.


22 posted on 08/16/2006 10:49:59 AM PDT by Heyworth
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To: avacado
I read the article on the link. I do feel sorry for her husband and I do understand not wanting to give up on her. I take issue with the articles "force the government to spend more taxpayer money on X" slant though.

But the person I really feel sorry for is the family that lost a father/grandfather/provider/loved-one who was run over repeatedly by a car. This woman is not the victim, the man she killed is. The man and, by extension, his family. but I'm just a "heartless conservative".

BTW, Iknow it was a car and not an SUV or else every story on this would put "SUV" in bold. Off topic, but relevant to the news coverage in general.

23 posted on 08/16/2006 10:54:34 AM PDT by M1Tanker (Proven Daily: Modern "progressive" liberalism is just National Socialism without the "twisted cross")
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To: NormsRevenge
it was murder.

we need to stop this "insanity" stuff

24 posted on 08/16/2006 10:56:08 AM PDT by GeronL (flogerloon.blogspot.com -------------> Rise of the Hate Party)
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To: GeronL

Yet it seems to me that the problem is not with an insanity defense per se. It is the fact that the society's understanding of its proper application is so diluted by pop-culture psychobabble that anyone who kills anyone must be insane. Compound that with the society's ready acceptance that there is no evil, only misunderstanding, and what you have is a situation where most killers are just misunderstood or mentally ill, neither of which merit punishment. Look at Hezbollah!


25 posted on 08/16/2006 11:04:10 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: Heyworth
Many years ago, she would likely have been committed and Jesus Plascencia would still be alive. The "liberation" is the state institutions for the insane has cost many lives, most of them the former inmates themselves. For all the abuses, and there were many, the basic idea of removing people from society for their own and others safety has some merit.
26 posted on 08/16/2006 11:10:10 AM PDT by JimSEA ( "The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock)
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To: I still care

Sorry for your nightmare.

Meds and follow up care on a consistant basis allows many to lead uneventful lives.

I know quite a few chemically imbalanced people and usually boils down too taking meds and good self health care which keeps things on an even keel or no meds and doing jail time or instutionlized with family needing to break ties for their own safety.



27 posted on 08/16/2006 11:12:08 AM PDT by Global2010 (Show me da paw Ya'll)
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To: GeronL
"It was murder"

Did the prosecutor prove that this criminal act was premeditated? After reading about Mrs. West medical history, and having close personal relationships with friends whom have been diagnosed with mental illness, I question whether or not this crime fits the "murder" description.

It is certainly a heinous crime, and society should be protected from Mrs. West (she should be imprisoned for life), but I do not believe this crime was premeditated.
28 posted on 08/16/2006 11:13:47 AM PDT by This Just In ("that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant" The Law; F. Bastiat)
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To: delphirogatio

even if they are insane, they still are guilty of murder. IMO


29 posted on 08/16/2006 11:13:54 AM PDT by GeronL (flogerloon.blogspot.com -------------> Rise of the Hate Party)
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To: This Just In
Did the prosecutor prove that this criminal act was premeditated?

It was premeditated the second, third, fourth etc times she ran the man over.

30 posted on 08/16/2006 11:16:39 AM PDT by GeronL (flogerloon.blogspot.com -------------> Rise of the Hate Party)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I think some people are just evil.


31 posted on 08/16/2006 11:17:46 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: GeronL

The problem is the innocent by reason of insanity defense.

This woman seems clearly insane, as do many others that murder. It seems to me the answer is judge them guilty of murder, and then decide where they should go - to a mental hospital for the duration of their sentence, or to prison.

As for the others on this thread, if you've never known a truly mentally ill person, it's hard to understand. I was actually married to one and it took me a good 5 years to really understand his behavior was out of his control.


32 posted on 08/16/2006 11:24:57 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: I still care
then walked into the bagel shop and told an employee that there was some "road kill" in the parking lot.

She was sane enough to function, but someone who does something like that indicates that she really wasn't sane at the time (in the sense of knowing right from wrong).

33 posted on 08/16/2006 11:26:59 AM PDT by technochick99 ( Firearm of choice: Sig Sauer....)
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To: netmilsmom

Let alone desecrating the afterbirth. (Ducking...)


34 posted on 08/16/2006 11:30:42 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Centurion2000

I'm very comfortable with executing murderers. 'Tis my preference to shoot the rabid wolves among us.


35 posted on 08/16/2006 11:33:09 AM PDT by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: avacado

Except for the murder part, this woman's behavior is exactly like my sisters.
Today, at the age of 64, the medicos have been able to stop her from the delusions and bizarre behavior, but at the cost of drug-induced quietude.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone.


36 posted on 08/16/2006 11:39:49 AM PDT by cydcharisse
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To: GeronL


Ah yes. The repeated act. That makes perfect sense, but I'm not sure about the initial action. Regardless, Mrs. West committed a criminal act and should be imprisoned how ever she is convicted.



37 posted on 08/16/2006 11:41:15 AM PDT by This Just In ("that protectionism, socialism, and communism are basically the same plant" The Law; F. Bastiat)
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To: technochick99

It sounds like she was totally delusional. My husband could walk around, and drive! but would be convinced he was in a concentration camp or such.

He once punched a doctor because he thought he was a manager from Walmart. Egad. Sometimes you have to laugh. I bet the doctor didn't think it was funny, though.

As my husband said to me later, who is this guy from Walmart telling me what to do?


38 posted on 08/16/2006 11:41:28 AM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: GeronL

They may well be guilty of taking another life. And, I am certainly not lobbying that they do not deserve punishment. Quite the opposite. I believe they can pose a threat to themselves and society and as such should be removed from it. It is the proper method for that removal that I am wondering about.

After all, we have people arguing that funding to institutions should be cut and people should be reintegrated into society for the good of the society and the individual. Yet, I must've been napping when the case was clearly made that reintroduction to the society served either the individual or society in any meaningful way. It serves the ego of the activists...THAT I get.


39 posted on 08/16/2006 11:45:32 AM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: NormsRevenge

"There is no reasonable, rational explanation for this," Gates said. "The only explanation is insanity."

A statement fitting for a defense attorney but not for our society. We execute people for what they DO, not why. Andrea Yates should be put to death for her deliberate murders, yet she escaped. Diabolical deeds now equal--prima facie--"insanity" and, therefore, non responsibility.

It's a destructive fantasy propagated by Satan, who works through angry people to provoke murderous rage. West displayed this, did she not (in her overkill)?


40 posted on 08/16/2006 11:49:31 AM PDT by avenir
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To: NormsRevenge

I think she was insane.
Now that we got that out of the way, anyone got a rope?


41 posted on 08/16/2006 12:45:57 PM PDT by spookadelic
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To: delphirogatio

1,000 people a year are killed by mentally ill patients, according to the National Institute of Health.

That's quite a death toll to pay to ensure the civil rights of the mentally ill.


42 posted on 08/16/2006 1:22:11 PM PDT by Valpal1 (Big Media is like Barney Fife with a gun.)
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To: Valpal1

1,000 ppl a year? Are you talking fellow patients in institutions? Are you talking about mentally ill people who receive treatment on an out-patient basis?

As I said, I have no problem with removing mentally ill criminals from society. I merely said that doing so does not necessitate a loss of discretion as to where we put said criminals.


43 posted on 08/16/2006 2:52:06 PM PDT by delphirogatio
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To: delphirogatio

1000 bystanders and or family members killed by non-institutionalized persons with a history of treatment for mental illness.

John Lennon being one of the more famous victims.

I don't advocate prison for mentally ill criminals. For one thing, they are often victimized in prisons by other criminals.

It seems strange that in light of all the high profile "not guilty by reason of insanity" verdicts since the advent of electronic media that more states haven't adopted "guilty while insane" statutes to their criminal laws.


44 posted on 08/16/2006 3:54:35 PM PDT by Valpal1 (Big Media is like Barney Fife with a gun.)
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