Pa. Woman Who Killed Her Two Children Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Meghan Lippiatt has been found not guilty by reason of insanity in a Lancaster court.  Lippiatt admitted suffocating her infant son and drowning her 2-year-old son in 2004. 

The killing two-year-old Silas and his four-month-old brother Miles occurred weeks after a break-up with  her husband.

Lippiatt called 911 and told the operator: “I did something really bad, I just killed my kids.”  She later tried to kill herself and left a note which read: “I am sorry, I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I am sorry, goodbye, please help me from the grave.”

There is growing interest in allowing greater use of the insanity defense after it was heavily curtailed after the shooting of President Ronald Reagan.

For a prior column on the insanity defense, click here 

For the full story, click  here

One thought on “Pa. Woman Who Killed Her Two Children Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity”

  1. Dear Mr. Turley,

    First of all I always look for your opinion when issues are looking for expert constitutional scholars. I have been an avid learner of your opinion for many, many years.

    Regarding this case, I don’t know if you are aware, but there was a problem and fiasco after the trial and wondered what your opinion was. She was freed immediately after her bench trial upon a habeas corpus filed by her defense counsel. See the following news account:

    Here is a brief synopsis; In the VERDICT ORDER there did not seam to be any condition for Ms. Liappatt to be held in custody until a further psychiatric evaluation could be performed. This set in motion a number of court filings by the District Attorney, the Defense Counsel, and others trying to recommit her to a treatment facility.

    The following was my email to someone regarding my suspicion, I have later found that temporary insanity, if in his verdict would free her immediately after trial:

    December 18, 2007
    To Ron Harper

    “Are you following this case at all? This is truly a first class Lancaster County smoke and mirrors game.

    This is my analysis. And for the record, I did attend the trial and sat to hear Gottlieb, the psychiatrist testify and be cross examined. I have also studied mental health issues for Project Hope, for my own case, and for my family’s different cases, especially my father and brothers Sam and Tom; for over 20 years. So I am not uneducated with the issues.

    Being that this is the first such verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity in Lancaster County, as reported, I think this whole case was purposely mismanaged so that the next time such a verdict is before a Lancaster County jury, they can say “see, if you find the defendant not guilty by insanity, that person may be released and freed without any treatment or conditions.”

    I think Judge Cullen should have to explain why he did not issue a condition in his verdict to have Ms. Lippiatt held in Lancaster County Prison or transferred to a mental health facility until the outcome of a psychiatric evaluation. I don’t understand why he did not do this, unless the law prevented him from doing that.

    I will have to research this.”

    I would love to hear your opinion, if you find the time. Hope to meet you in the future.

    Stan J. Caterbone
    Advanced Media Group

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