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Latrice A. JONES





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Eviscerated her eight-year-old son because she believed he was possessed
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 11, 2002
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1972
Victim profile: Quentin Jones, 8 (her son)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: New Hope, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Status: Found not guilty by reason of insanity on October 10, 2002. Committed indefinitely to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter

Woman acquitted in son's death by reason of insanity

October 11, 2002

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A New Hope woman who said the devil's spirit came out of her fireplace and into her body has been found innocent by reason of insanity in her son's slaying.

Instead Latrice A. Jones, 29, will be committed indefinitely to a high-security state mental hospital, officials said Thursday.

Jones admitted stabbing her 8-year-old son, Quentin Jones, to death, but testimony by several doctors that she had paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the stabbing was accepted by Hennepin County District Judge Lucy Wieland.

Latrice Jones was the only one home when police found her son dead in the kitchen of their apartment on Aug. 11. Wieland found that the state proved that Jones had committed second-degree intentional murder.

Jones and her attorney, Hersch Izek, waived her right to a jury trial and agreed that the events alleged in the charges against her were true.

After the brief hearing, prosecutor Mike Furnstahl filed a petition in Probate Court to commit Jones as mentally ill and dangerous to the Minnesota Security Hospital at St. Peter.

Court records said Jones told authorities that the devil's spirit came through her home's fireplace and into her body. She said voices told her to invoke the devil by saying "666."

While in jail she said she responded to the voices by banging her head against the wall and by trying to strangle herself with her socks tied together. She was put on a suicide watch.

A Minnesota Security Hospital expert, Jennifer Service, said she supported the mental illness defense because Jones had a history of paranoid schizophrenia and had its symptoms when she killed her son. She heard voices and had intense religious delusions, Service's report said.

Attorneys said it is rare for defendants to use a mental illness defense and rarer still for them to be acquitted by reason of insanity.


Latrice Jones eviscerated her eight-year-old son

New Hope

August 11, 2002

New Hope police responded to a call from concerned relatives and found Quentin Jones, 8, dead from multiple stab wounds. His mother, Latrice Jones, 29, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder. Latrice Jones told police, “I killed him. He wasn’t listening to Mohammed,” referring to her ex-boyfriend. Judge Steven Pihalja ordered Jones to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Records in her apartment show that Jones had been treated for an acute psychosis at North Memorial Medical Center the previous week and that she had a history of bipolar disorder. Quentin was in second grade and was known as a cheerful boy who “liked math and doing a good job on his school work,” said the principal of his school, Crest View Elementary in Brooklyn Park.

On October 11, Judge Lucy Wieland found that the state proved that Latrice Jones had committed second-degree murder but found Jones not guilty by reason of mental illness due to testimony that she had paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the murder of her son. Jones was committed indefinitely to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter.

Latrice Jones, the Robbinsdale mother who eviscerated her eight-year-old because she believed he was possessed, last year became one of very few people to be found not guilty by reason of insanity in Minnesota. She was subsequently committed to a state hospital. She did not have to face a jury, though, because prosecutors had agreed that she was insane.



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