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The Deanna Laney murders were the killings, by Deanna Laney, of her two oldest sons (Joshua, 8, and Luke, 6) by stoning.

On 3 April 2004, a jury acquitted her of all charges by reason of insanity.

Details

On 11 May 2003, Laney, an East Texas housewife, locked her sleeping husband in their bedroom and then went to Joshua and Luke's room. She escorted Luke to a rock garden in the front yard of their home, which is encircled by a white split-rail fence. Laney told her son to lie down with his head on a rock and she took another large rock, raised it over her head and brought it down onto his skull. She then killed Joshua in the same manner. Both children were found dead with large stones lying on their chests. Aaron, the third son, 14 months old, was attacked with a rock in his crib but did not die.

During the investigation, Laney claimed God ordered her to bash in her sons' heads.

Five mental health experts were consulted in her case. The prosecution consulted two, the defense two, and the judge one. All five arrived at the conclusion that Laney suffered from psychotic delusions which made her unable to know right from wrong at the time of the killings.

References


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