How MMA Fighter Pleads Insanity against Murder Charges
On March 21, 2010 in California, the death of Taylor Powell at the hands of mixed martial arts fighter Jarrod Wyatt turned out to be one of the most bizarre and gruesome murder cases of the year.
Wyatt, 26, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity after consulting medical experts. He was charged with murder, aggravated mayhem, and torture. Wyatt allegedly ripped out the heart and cut off the tongue and face of his sparring partner Powell, 21 – reportedly while Powell was still alive, according to the Coroner.
Wyatt, Powell, a third friend, and Wyatt’s ex-girlfriend had reportedly drank a tea earlier that night, laced with psychedelic mushrooms. Wyatt and Powell became convinced that the world was coming to an end.
Sgt. Elwood Lee entered the house after a friend of Wyatt and Powell reported a stabbing. Lee reportedly found Wyatt naked and covered in blood standing over Powell’s body with an 18-inch incision in his chest with his eyes and most of his face removed.
“Satan was in that dude,” Wyatt said, according to police.
Lee said that he did not believe Wyatt was under the influence of a hallucinogen. The prosecution stated that the mutilation of Powell’s body was evidence of intent and the dissection was evidence of “extreme, callous indifference,” according to the Times-Standard.
According to the Times-Standard, attorney James Fallman stated:
My client was trying to silence the devil”
The Insanity Defense
Generally, once a defendant pleads insanity, he or she will be required to submit to a mental examination. If the insanity defense is successful, the defendant is usually committed to a psychiatric hospital.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can either help you plead not guilty by reason of insanity or contribute your mental state to mitigating factors that can at least help lessen your charges.
If you have been charged with a crime, and you did not recognize the possibility that what you were doing was wrong, contact a criminal defense lawyer to see if an examination is possible. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can either help you plead not guilty by reason of insanity or contribute your mental state to mitigating factors that can at least help lessen your charges.