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Man not guilty by reason of insanity after Hopewell woman killed in apartment

Posted at 11:42 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 10:42:58-05

HOPEWELL, Va. -- She was strangled with shoestring-like material, her body covered in cuts, and bruises. Court records indicate she was beaten to death. Kristie McPherson suffered a vicious attack prior to her death inside her Hopewell apartment, which she shared with a man she had met at an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting. The affidavit describing the crime scene is almost too gruesome to describe.

However, Carl Williams, the man accused of killing 49-year-old McPherson inside her Hopewell apartment in September 2019 was recently found, not guilty by reason of insanity.

"The insanity defense applies when the person has a mental defect or disease and that it causes them to engage in conduct and they don't know the true nature and character of that conduct," CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone explained.

Williams, according to court records, has a history of mental illness dating back decades, including diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Those same documents detail conversations Williams had with voices in his head; he said would say threatening and disparaging things to him.

Williams has been placed into the custody of the Commonwealth of Virginia Behavioral Health and developmental services.

"The next step from this point, because he's not going to be released and out in public, is that he will have more evaluations done,” said Stone. “He will be committed to Central State or any other state hospital if they don't have room, and then there will be ongoing evaluation and treatment of him."