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View Poll Results: I believe this excuse for murder is...

Voters
42. This poll is closed
  • The work of a crafty defense team.

    16 38.10%
  • Probably true and it can happen.

    16 38.10%
  • something I cannot make a decision about.

    10 23.81%

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  1. #1
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    UK - Man cleared of wife's death during nightmare

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/20...831281-ap.html

    Man cleared of wife's death during nightmare
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    LONDON (AP) — A British man who said he strangled his wife during a nightmare about fighting off an intruder has been found not guilty in her death.

    Prosecutors had originally asked Brian Thomas be found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2008 death of his wife, Christine, and be sent to a psychiatric hospital.

    On Friday chief prosecutor Iwan Jenkins said “it is now clear that the psychiatrists feel that that would serve no useful purpose and the risk of reoccurrence is very, very small.”

    The judge ordered the jury return a verdict of not guilty. Thomas, of south Wales, had accepted he killed his wife of 40 years.

    The jury was told that Thomas, 59, had a sleep disorder and was in a state of automatism — where his mind had no control over his body — when he strangled Christine.
    WTF?

    Well there's one for the "Forensic Files" series.

  2. #2
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    well, I do think it's possible but I certainly wouldn't want to see every tom, dick & harry using it as an excuse

    I also don't even think it's necessarily a sleep disorder but could be just a regular ol' nightmare

    case in point: one night I was having a nightmare about being attacked & was biting my attacker b/c my hands & feet were not free - in the dream, I was on my back & he was on top of me

    in reality, I was dreaming this while on my side facing my husband - he was on his back & I was BITING HIS ARM!

    I BIT HIS ARM SO HARD THAT HE HAD MY DENTAL IMPRESSION IN HIS ARM FOR PROBABLY A WEEK AFTER ...

    (I'm so not kidding)

    that night, HE woke up before I did (after I BIT him - lol) - I was still having the nightmare as he tried to wake me

    now, what if I had a gun under the bed & got a hand 'free' (in my nightmare they were confined underneath the attacker somehow) and shot my husband? the what-ifs are scary as hell to think about so yes, I do think it's possible

    also, I had a friend whose sleep disorder was so serious that she would do crazy things like go pee & get drinks of water while asleep

  3. #3
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    This is an interesting case. It was on Dateline or one of them there shows. This guy claimed to be sleepwalking when he killed his wife but he gathered up his bloodstained clothes, put 'em in a plastic bag and then hid them in the wheel well of his car.

    http://afgen.com/sleepwalk_murder.html

    Prosecutor Juan Martinez said the facts of the case point to murder beyond any doubt. He walked jurors through the night of Jan. 16, 1997, telling how Mrs. Falater was first stabbed and then drowned, and how her screams turned to silence. Martinez also outlined an attempted cover-up that saw Falater change his bloody clothes and put them along with the murder weapon into a plastic container. All the evidence was put in a trash bag and hidden in the wheel-well of his car.

    The defense argued the murder and cover-up all took place during a prolonged sleepwalking episode. A neighbor said he watched over a backyard fence as Falater put on gloves, dragged his wife into the pool and held her head under the water with two hands. The neighbor called for help.



  4. #4
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    Sleep walker, talker, eater here. Needless to say I don't sleep nakid!

    It isn't funny to me. My family finds it amusing, but it is scary to wake up and have no
    idea how or why.

    I am in no way claiming this is a defense for murder.

  5. #5
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    Why would they even try and use an insanity defense anyway? What was he supposedly diagnosed with automatism? That's absurd, it's not even a "mental disorder".
    So they ask for him to be sent to a psych hospital who says,

    "On Friday chief prosecutor Iwan Jenkins said “it is now clear that the psychiatrists feel that that would serve no useful purpose and the risk of reoccurrence is very, very small.”

    Caca de toro! If he truly had a "mental disorder" to begin with, that made him kill his wife, they wouldn't be letting him out in a year, nor would they be able to tell about the risk of reoccurence happing again, as they wouldn't know that.

    The only way the risk of reoccurance is very, very small is since he already killed his wife and now he has no more wives to kill.. yet. Not to mention that he is sane to begin with.

    What do they do over there? Did they even investigate at all?
    That is screwy! He must have paid off the judge..jeez
    "The cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair."

    -J. Edgar Hoover

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
    Sleep walker, talker, eater here. Needless to say I don't sleep nakid!

    It isn't funny to me. My family finds it amusing, but it is scary to wake up and have no
    idea how or why.

    I am in no way claiming this is a defense for murder.
    I talk ALOT in my sleep, fortunately I haven't gone for a little stroll in a while! I don't THINK I've ever eaten in my sleep, but how would I know? Two of my five sons are sleepwalkers and talkers. I have seen some pretty amazing things. My middle child, at age 17, dreamed there was some kind of animal latched onto his calf. He was standing up in his bedroom, ripping at his leg, screaming for help.....totally asleep. He had friends sleeping over, and they were enjoying the show, let me tell you. This same child, at age three, exited our home at 3 in the morning, and I (Thank you, Lord) woke up because I thought I was hearing the baby crying. But I was hearing John-John. He was at the end of the driveway, crying and yelling "Help me, somebody help me!" Totally asleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeoW333 View Post
    Why would they even try and use an insanity defense anyway? What was he supposedly diagnosed with automatism? That's absurd, it's not even a "mental disorder".
    So they ask for him to be sent to a psych hospital who says,

    "On Friday chief prosecutor Iwan Jenkins said “it is now clear that the psychiatrists feel that that would serve no useful purpose and the risk of reoccurrence is very, very small.”

    Caca de toro! If he truly had a "mental disorder" to begin with, that made him kill his wife, they wouldn't be letting him out in a year, nor would they be able to tell about the risk of reoccurence happing again, as they wouldn't know that.

    The only way the risk of reoccurance is very, very small is since he already killed his wife and now he has no more wives to kill.. yet. Not to mention that he is sane to begin with.

    What do they do over there? Did they even investigate at all?
    That is screwy! He must have paid off the judge..jeez
    I'm not sure why they would claim mental illness either. Automatism is not a mental illness: it is a condition in which a person is making movements without having any awareness of the reality of the movement. Like when my husband dreamed snakes got in our bed, and he "rescued" me by grabbing my hair and dragging me across the room. When he woke up, he couldn't believe he'd really done that, he thought he had just had a nightmare.

    I found a little info on the legality of using the claim of automatism as a defense in Australian law: I know the two systems are related but I'm not sure if this is how it would read in English law:

    Australian Model Criminal Code Committee state the law as follows (at 14-15):

    At the minimum there needs to be some operation of the will before a physical movement is described as an act. The physical movements of a person who is asleep, for example, probably should not be regarded as acts at all, and certainly should not be regarded as acts for the purposes of criminal responsibility. These propositions are embodied in the rule that people are not held responsible for involuntary ‘acts’, that is, physical movements which occur without there being any will to perform that act. This situation is usually referred to as automatism.

  7. #7
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    I didn't even know there was a name for it. Was the worst when I was preggers. Night after night. Even got a black eye running into the door that I guess I thought was open.
    I will have to read more on this. Seriously thought I was a bit crazy. Or maybe I am. LOL j/k

    kgeaux,
    How scary for you as a parent to have a child sleepwalk. I can't imagine. What did you do after his little stroll? I would have been scared to death to let him sleep alone.

    (sorry to be so off topic folks)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
    I didn't even know there was a name for it. Was the worst when I was preggers. Night after night. Even got a black eye running into the door that I guess I thought was open.
    I will have to read more on this. Seriously thought I was a bit crazy. Or maybe I am. LOL j/k

    kgeaux,
    How scary for you as a parent to have a child sleepwalk. I can't imagine. What did you do after his little stroll? I would have been scared to death to let him sleep alone.

    (sorry to be so off topic folks)
    I bet your friends looked at your husband differently after you told them you got a black eye by walking into a door.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    I bet your friends looked at your husband differently after you told them you got a black eye by walking into a door.
    Oh man you got that right. Doc and nurses pulled me aside to question me on my scheduled (sp) visit. Wanted to know if I felt "safe at home" I was embarrassed. My poor hubby took it in stride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
    Oh man you got that right. Doc and nurses pulled me aside to question me on my scheduled (sp) visit. Wanted to know if I felt "safe at home" I was embarrassed. My poor hubby took it in stride.
    "Hunny, there's this beautiful diamond necklace I want, or do you want me to go back in there and tell them something different?"


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steely dan View Post
    "hunny, there's this beautiful diamond necklace i want, or do you want me to go back in there and tell them something different?"
    ~lol ~

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
    I didn't even know there was a name for it. Was the worst when I was preggers. Night after night. Even got a black eye running into the door that I guess I thought was open.
    I will have to read more on this. Seriously thought I was a bit crazy. Or maybe I am. LOL j/k

    kgeaux,
    How scary for you as a parent to have a child sleepwalk. I can't imagine. What did you do after his little stroll? I would have been scared to death to let him sleep alone.

    (sorry to be so off topic folks)
    It was terrifying to find my little guy outside, near the street, in the middle of the night. We always locked our doors, but he'd managed to unlock and open the car-port door. After that, we installed deadbolt locks up high on all the exits of the home----but that terrified me, too, because the week before this happened, a mother and child had been discovered dead in an apartment in Baton Rouge. Mom had died of an aneurysm and the toddler had slowly starved to death. Since my husband worked away from home three weeks out of every month, I agonized over what would happen to my kiddos if he was gone and something happened to me.....but God is good, and everything turned out just fine!

  13. #13
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    Good idea re the locks up high. I can't imagine how scary that was!

  14. #14
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    My cousin was put on medication because he would get up in the middle of the night sound asleep and walk around the house with a loaded shot gun, thinking he was hunting and other times when he would wander around with a bow and arrow acting out his dreams. I haven't read much about this case, but I do think things like this CAN happen.
    Happy New Years

  15. #15
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    I have a niece that used to sleepwalk. She is only six years younger than me and she stayed with us fairly often. I used to be so afraid of her- LOL! One thing for sure, I don't think I'd want this particular man sleeping in my neighborhood even though I think it's very possible that he is telling the truth.

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