DENTON, Texas -- A 34-year-old woman who cut out her daughter's heart because she thought the child was infested with demons was found innocent by reason of insanity Friday.
The seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated about five hours before returning the innocent verdict for Patricia Ann Frazier of Wichita Falls, Texas.
Last November a Wichita Falls jury had been unable to reach a verdict in the case.
After the verdict was announced, state District Judge Keith Nelson ruled the evidence in Ms. Frazier's trial was sufficient to order a hearing to determine if she should be committed to a mental hospital.
Ms. Frazier was accused of cutting the heart from her daughter, Khunji, 4, on Feb. 22, 1980. She said at the time she thought the girl was possessed by demons.
Rusty Duncan, her attorney, characterized her as 'crazy as hell' at the time of the slaying and said psychiatric examinations -- one as recent as last month -- indicated Ms. Frazier was still insane.
'I can't think of a more appropriate situation than this for an insanity defense,' Duncan said, calling the slaying 'sickening' and 'a unique case beyond the realm of comprehension.'
'She was crazy as hell when she committed the offense,' he said.
Part of the defense's presentation included a screening of the edited version of 'The Exorcist' Ms. Frazier had seen on CBS television 10 days before the slaying.
Wichita Falls District Attorney Tim Eyssen called Ms. Frazier's insanity plea a ruse to mask a 'cool, calm, collected killer' who had a history of beating her daughter. He claimed she killed the child so she could find a new boyfriend.