Friday, January 15, 2010

To get a baby for herself, Andrea Curry-Demus murdered the child's mother and cut her fetus from its womb

I wonder if some particularly brutal crimes, committed by people who should have been in mental hospitals, result in friends and family members suffering post-traumatic stress? If so, untreated psychoses could be called (colloquially) infectious diseases.

If any act would bring about PTSD, this senseless killing in Pittsburgh, committed by a woman who had untreated mental illness, would. Here is the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review's telling of the trial:
A psychiatrist testified for more than three hours Thursday that Andrea Curry-Demus had a history of mental illness and was delusional when she cut a baby from the womb of a McKeesport teenager.

"As a result of her underlying psychosis, she's unable to appreciate between right and wrong," said Dr. Barbara E. Ziv during the Wilkinsburg woman's homicide trial. "I think it's likely she was psychotic. It's the sum total of 20 years of psychotic behavior and the bizarre act of the crime itself."

Ziv's testimony is the centerpiece of the defense for Curry-Demus, 40, who is on trial for the July 2008 death of Kia Johnson, 18. Defense attorney Christopher Patarini is seeking a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ziv testified at length about Curry-Demus' history of mental illness. She said that past doctors diagnosed Curry-Demus with psychosis and having delusions of pregnancies and children. Ziv diagnosed her with delusional disorder.

"Her beliefs are non-consistent with reality," Ziv said.

Curry-Demus is accused of drugging Johnson, binding her wrists and ankles with duct tape and cutting the baby out of her womb.

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