RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A woman diagnosed as psychotic when she shot her two children could get a new trial after a North Carolina appeals court decided her lawyers argued for an insanity defense against her wishes.
The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Tina Stamey Payne was denied her constitutional right of legal assistance when her defense attorney asked the judge to declare her not guilty by reason of insanity.
The appeals court is ordering a new mental competency hearing to determine if Payne can stand trial. The three-judge court panel says if and when she goes on trial, the Gaston County woman will decide whether to pursue an insanity defense.
Payne in 2013 pointed a pistol at her 15-year-old daughter thinking the president and the Indians were coming to kill her.