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Knife with Blood

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Louisiana Woman Facing Life After Stabbing Her Aunt Over 50 Times

According to the NY Daily News, a Louisiana woman is reportedly facing life after she was found guilty of killing her aunt just one year after she stabbed her stepfather in the head.

Kenya Despenza, 40, was convicted of second-degree murder earlier this week for the stabbing death of her 56-year-old aunt, Dianne Bercy, in 2018. Despenza stabbed her 56 times, wrapped her in a blanket and then attempted to cover up the crime. She then showered and tried to scrub the blood from the walls and the floor before taking off in Bercy’s car to check herself into a hospital.

 

She claimed she was not guilty of the murder by reason of insanity, but prosecutors noted that she’d previously checked herself into similar facilities to avoid getting into trouble.

Prosecutors claimed that psychiatrists determined she was “malingering,” pretending to be mentally ill.

“She is a faker,” prosecuting attorney Tiffany Dover said in her closing statement. “There is no other way to describe it. She’s trying to con the twelve of you.”

 

An insanity defense is only applicable if the accused is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong because of a mental disease or defect, both during and after the time of the crime.

Recorded conversations between Despenza and her mother show she was frustrated with her aunt and her family because they didn’t get along and she made her walk to work. Authorities have pointed to this as a motive for the deadly attack.

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